West Palm Beach resident pleads guilty in ID theft for tax refund fraud scheme; patient info used

Kawana Brown, 36, of West Palm Beach, pled guilty last week for her participation in a wide-ranging identity theft scheme.

Specifically, Brown pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 1349 (Count 1), three counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 1343 (Counts 2, 8, and 13), and two counts of aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. ‘ 1028A (Counts 25 and 38).

Sentencing is scheduled for May 30, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra.

The scheme involved, in part, stealing the identities of patients at a medical facility in central Florida. Those identities were then used to file fraudulent federal income tax returns in the patients’ names seeking fraudulent refunds, and obtaining fraudulent credit cards which were then used to make fraudulent purchases.

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

So what was the medical facility? I did some digging through court records and found that the names, dates of birth and Social Security account numbers of the ID theft victims had been obtained from Villages Endoscopy. In response to my inquiry, HHS confirmed that they had received an under-500 breach report from Villages Endoscopy. Villages Endoscopy & Surgical Center did not, however, respond to my inquiry as to how they learned of the breach and how many were affected.

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