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Pair Charged with Identity Theft in Relation to WVU Medicine Breach

A federal grand jury has charged a former healthcare worker and her accomplice with identity theft, aggravated identity theft, bank fraud and producing false documents. The charges relate to the theft of PHI from WVU Medicine University Healthcare.

Angela Dawn Roberts, 41, of Stephenson, VA had previously worked at WVU Medicine Berkley Medical Center, where she is alleged to have accessed the WVU Medicine University Healthcare database to obtain sensitive patient information in order to steal the identities of patients.

Court documents indicate names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers were accessed and manually copied onto paper, with printouts of driver’s licenses also made. Angela Roberts is alleged to have disclosed the information to her accomplice, Ajarhi Savimi Roberts, 24, of Stephens City, VA.

Ajarhi Roberts used the information to open bank accounts and obtain credit cards in victims’ names and used the accounts to steal thousands of dollars. The crimes occurred between March 1, 2016, and Jan. 31, 2017.

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The pair, who also used the names Angela Dawn Lee and Wayne Roberts, are alleged to have fraudulently obtained money from several banks including Bank of America, Barclay, Chase Bank, Discover and Wells Fargo. The pair are thought to have obtained at least $40,000 using the names and identities of WVU Medicine patients.

The 36-count indictment suggests the information of 10 patients was used for the crimes, although WVU Medicine University Healthcare has previously indicated the records of at least 113 patients had been accessed and stolen, while 7,445 breach notifications were mailed to patients as their protected health information had also potentially been accessed.

Prosecutors are seeking a monetary judgement of $13, 085.65. The paid both face a lengthy jail term if convicted of the crimes.

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.