More follow-up on a tax refund fraud scheme that used patient information from Troy Regional Medical Center in Alabama and other non-medical entities. This case was noted previously on this blog. Robbyn Brooks of the Troy Messenger reports:
A woman who pled guilty in an identity theft/tax refund scam involving Troy Regional Medical Center records has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Rhashema Deramus, 23, of Montgomery, pleaded guilty on Aug. 29, 2012 to theft of government money, fraudulent use of debit cards and aggravated identity theft in relation to filing fraudulent tax returns.
According to information provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Deramus and her associates stole 881 identities, including names, dates of birth and social security numbers, from TRMC and then used the stolen information to file tax returns. Refunds were placed on pre-paid debit cards and Deramus, and others at her direction, took those cards and cashed them out at ATMs.
This fraud scheme was quite extensive, and involved theft of identity information from not only Troy Regional Medical Center, but also the State of Alabama Department of Human Resources, Vinson Guard Service, Inc., DeKalb Medical Center, and Jefferson Davis High School.
In previous coverage of this case on this blog, I noted that Angeline Austin, also involved in the scheme and who worked for Southern Records Management, pleaded guilty in October 2012 for her role, which involved stealing patient information while she worked at Troy Regional Medical Center as an SRM employee. Austin had been charged in June 2012, and was sentenced in February to 65 months in prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama has a victim assistance page for victims of all the related cases, with links to the court filings.