NYC: Dental Receptionist Accused of Stealing Personal Identifying Information of More Than 250 Patients

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of five individuals – DEVIN BAZILE, 30, SHARNIQKWA DUKES, 24, AHMEEN EVANS, 26, JOSHUA HAUGHTON, 28, and ANNIE VUONG, 27 – for using the stolen personal identifying information of approximately 200 victims to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from Barclaycard. Following a two-and-a-half-year-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, the defendants are charged in a 394-count indictment in New York State Supreme Court with Grand Larceny in the Second, Third, and Fourth Degrees; Identity Theft in the First and Second Degrees; and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. BAZILE and VUONG are additionally charged with Unlawful Possession of Personal Identifying Information in the Second Degree.[1]

“Using stolen information to purchase Apple products is one of the most common schemes employed by cybercrime and identity theft rings today,” said District Attorney Vance. “We see in case after case how all it takes is single insider at a company – in this instance, allegedly, a receptionist in a dentists’ office – to set an identity theft ring in motion, which then tries to monetize the stolen information by purchasing Apple goods for resale or personal use. The prosecutors and analysts in my Office’s Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau are experienced at detecting and fighting fraud involving insiders and those who seek to profit from the use of stolen personal identifying information.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, the defendants are accused of stealing the personal identifying information of hundreds of victims, and using that information to apply online for “instant credit” at Apple. “Instant credit” refers to a credit product offered by Apple, in partnership with Barclaycard, which could be used immediately upon approval in Apple stores. When an application was successful, a barcode was generated, which could then be used like a credit card to make purchases.

In this case, the instant credit accounts were allegedly used to purchase Apple gift cards, which were subsequently used to buy Apple merchandise, such as laptop computers.

Between May and November of 2012, while VUONG was employed as a receptionist at a dental office in Manhattan, she allegedly copied personal identifying information belonging more than 250 patients, including their names, dates of birth, addresses, and Social Security numbers, and emailed the stolen information to BAZILE, a former sales associate at Apple. BAZILE is accused of using the stolen information to apply online for Apple “instant credit,” and obtain credit lines ranging from $2,000 to $7,000.

Vuong is charged with:

• Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count
• Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 51 counts
• Identity Theft in the First Degree, a class D felony, 64 counts
• Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, 45 counts
• Identity Theft in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 31 counts
• Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
• Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.

SOURCE: New York County District Attorney’s Office

Vuong’s employer was not identified in the release.

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