LUFKIN, Texas – A 33-year-old Lufkin, Texas woman has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Joneshia Cranford pleaded guilty on July 20, 2012, to wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn.
According to information presented in court, from 2005 to 2008, Cranford, an employee of a Lufkin-area health care provider, stole protected health information, including patient names, dates of birth, social security numbers, Medicare numbers, and Medicaid numbers and sold the information to Shavator Albro, 35, and Francis “Frank” Ibiok, 28, both of Houston. Cranford’s actions are a criminal violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Cranford faces up to 10 years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not been set. Albro and Ibiok have pleaded guilty to health care fraud and identity theft offences and face up to 15 years in federal prison.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU). This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld.