texas-man-who-sold-protected-health-information-sentenced-to-prison

Texas man who offered protected well being info sentenced to jail

A McKinney, Texas, man who was accused of stealing protected well being info was sentenced to 48 months in federal jail this week.

In keeping with a U.S. Division of Justice press launch, 46-year-old Demetrius Cervantes pleaded responsible this previous December to conspiracy to acquire info from a protected laptop.   

WHY IT MATTERS

As outlined in courtroom paperwork, Cervantes, together with Amanda Lowry and Lydia Henslee, have been named in a federal indictment in September 2019.  

The three allegedly breached a supplier’s digital well being document system with the goal of stealing sufferers’ PHI and personally identifiable info.   

This stolen info, in line with the DOJ, was then “repackaged” within the type of faux doctor orders, after which offered to sturdy medical gear contractors.    

The information netted upwards of $1.4 million, which the DOJ says defendants then used to fund the purchases of SUVs, off-road autos and jet skis.

Lowry, who additionally pleaded responsible to conspiracy to acquire info from a protected laptop, might be sentenced later this month.  

Henslee, in the meantime, was charged in a ten-count superseding indictment with one rely of conspiracy to unlawfully switch, possess, and use a way of identification, and 9 counts of unlawfully transferring, possessing, and utilizing a way of identification.   

She pleaded responsible to conspiring to own and use technique of identification in reference to varied offenses on March 25; a sentencing date has not been set.  

THE LARGER TREND

Though breaches and theft of protected well being info are sadly all too frequent, typically the perpetrators are shadowy hacking teams demanding tens of millions of {dollars} to revive knowledge, somewhat than people apparently trying to make a fast buck. (Although, as Cervantes’ case reveals, the latter just isn’t unprecedented.)  

Nonetheless, the DOJ has flexed its enforcement muscle in each circumstances. This previous month, Reuters reported that the company will elevate its ransomware investigations to a terrorism-level precedence, reflecting the urgency decision-makers really feel in regards to the problem.   

ON THE RECORD  

“At this time’s sentence sends the message that the theft of protected well being info, the fabrication of physicians’ orders, and the sale of prescriptions won’t be tolerated within the Jap District of Texas,” stated Performing U.S. Lawyer Nicholas J. Ganjei in a press release.    

“This workplace will proceed to pursue those that place earnings over sufferers and manipulate the healthcare system for his or her private acquire,” Ganjei continued.

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT Information.

Twitter: @kjercich

E mail: kjercich@himss.org

Healthcare IT Information is a HIMSS Media publication.

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