Florida man pleads guilty to stealing New Jersey patients' information for tax refund fraud scheme

A Florida man admitted last week to using his position in a New Jersey doctor’s office to steal personal identifying information as part of his role in running a stolen identity refund fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Berness Swan, 44, of Spring Hill, Fla., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb, to an information charging him with one count of theft of government property and one count of aggravated identity theft. Swan caused numerous fraudulent U.S. income tax returns to be filed, which sought thousands of dollars in tax refunds and resulted in losses to the United States of more than $120,000.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Swan was employed by the Phoenix Medical Group in Mount Laurel, N.J., from Jan. 8, 2009, through March 23, 2012. His LinkedIn profile lists his position as “medical technician.” Swan had access to numerous individuals’ personal identifying information, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth. Swan stole the personal identifying information and used it to file fraudulent income tax returns with the IRS.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7, 2014.

This report includes information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey

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