Florida health department employees stole data, committed tax fraud

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Two former Orange County Health Department employees and an accomplice have been arrested in Florida and charged with using information from thousands of electronic patient records to commit tax fraud.

How many victims? About 3,500 were compromised in the scheme. About 2,200 were patients of the Orange County Health Department.

What type of personal information? Names, birth dates and Social Security numbers were among the information.

What happened? Two former Orange County Health Department employees accessed electronic patient records. They passed the information along to the brother of one suspect, who used the information to file fraudulent tax returns. The three suspects were arrested.

What was the response? The employees were fired and later arrested. The Orange County Health Department is cooperating with law enforcement in an investigation. Affected patients are being notified by mail of the incident and told to monitor their credit history for suspicious activities.

Details: The two employees had access to a large database of Orange County Health Department patients. They took photos of the information and sent it to the brother of one suspect, who later filed fraudulent tax returns. Investigators discovered a handwritten list of 148 names and personal information during a search of his home.

Quote: “We are taking every precaution possible and cooperating with law enforcement to assure all records are maintained with the greatest level of security possible,” said Kevin Sherin, Orange County Health Department director.

Source: wftv.com, WFTV Channel 9, “Health Department announces security breach after scam uncovered,” Oct. 30, 2013.

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