Women charged in cancer center identity thefts

Vivian Ho reports:

Two women were charged with identity theft for allegedly stealing mail and personal information from patients at an Alta Bates Summit Medical Center breast cancer center in Alameda County, Santa Clara County prosecutors said Wednesday.

Salina Soriano, 37, of San Jose, and Regina Kennedy, 36, a transient, are accused of using the information of at least 15 patients at the cancer center and more than 100 others from several Bay Area counties that they allegedly collected through stolen mail, notebooks and ledgers, said Jennifer Deng, Santa Clara County deputy district attorney.

The suspects were arrested Nov. 5 at the Avatar Hotel in Santa Clara after they allegedly used a fraudulent credit card to book a room, where investigators later found the stolen material, Deng said.

A list of names of women of the same age led officers to the Alta Bates Summit breast cancer center, where 15 patients reported that their identities had been stolen. Deng said Soriano and Kennedy had the names of at least 35 women from the cancer center. Officers are still trying to contact the other patients.

Read more on SFGate.  KTVU also covers the incident and notes that more than 100 identity theft victims have been identified from all over the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties.  The women were also found in possession of a payroll sheet from AverMedia Technologies.

Because it was not clear from the media coverage whether this data theft might be related to a breach reported in June by Sutter Health,  PHIprivacy.net reached out to Sutter Health. A corporate spokesperson informs us that the two breaches are not connected and that it is not clear at the moment where these individuals were seen. “We take matters such as this very seriously. I don’t have details at this at this time, but we will follow all proper procedures and collaborate with law enforcement to fully investigate,” the spokesperson informs PHIprivacy.net.

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