FL: Tax Fraudster Receives 27-Year Prison Sentence; Scheme Used Stolen Patient Information

Some of the breaches mentioned in this press release had been covered on PHIprivacy.net.

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene Honeywell has sentenced James Lee Cobb, III (27, Tampa) to 27 years in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm as an armed career criminal. As part of his sentence, the Court also entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $1,820,759, and an order of restitution in the same amount.     Cobb pleaded guilty on December 1, 2014.

According to court documents, Cobb conspired with others to use more than 7,000 stolen names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers to file false tax returns and open pre-paid debit cards. He also obtained “burner” phones using stolen identities. From an unknown date in 2011, and continuing November 2013, Cobb and his co-conspirators filed false tax returns claiming approximately $3 million in refunds.

During the execution of a search warrant at Cobb’s residence, law enforcement officers recovered lists and medical records containing the personal identifying information of more than 7,000 victims. Many of the victims had their identities stolen from healthcare facilities, including from the James A. Haley VA hospital; the Florida Hospital (formerly known as University Community Hospital); ambulance services in Virginia, Georgia, and Texas; a local medical billing company; and court records. In addition, a number of deceased victims’ names were obtained from genealogy websites.

SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida

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