Couple sentenced for stealing identities of 71 mental health patients

Craig McCarthy reports an update to a case that first made the news in 2015, although it was not covered on this site at the time – likely because I didn’t know it involved patient information:

A Sayreville couple was sentenced Friday for stealing thousands of dollars through an identity-theft ring that targeted mental health patients. They used the money to pay for shopping sprees and trips to Atlantic City, the prosecutor said.

Clare Ojeda 39, was sentenced to five years probation in Middlesex County Superior Court for stealing the credit card information and identities of 71 people.

Her boyfriend, Shaun Howard, 41, was given three years in prison for his role in the scheme, which utilized Ojeda’s job in a billing center for mental health practices in New Jersey.


The name of the billing center was not reported, but the owner appeared in court to ask the court to sentence the former employee to prison, noting that her business reputation had been damaged by Ojeda’s actions.

Instead, the judge sentenced Ojeda to probation, noting that she had a young child. Why not at least sentence her to jail on weekends for a period of time and then probation? I think she got off too lightly.



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