News and Press Releases

Veteran Affairs Employee Indicted For Sale Of Veterans' Identity Information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2013

Tampa, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces the unsealing of an indictment yesterday charging David F. Lewis with wrongful disclosure of health information, access device fraud, and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, Lewis faces a maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison on each count of wrongful disclosure of health information and ten years’ imprisonment on each count of access device fraud, all to be followed by up to two years for each aggravated identity theft offense. The Indictment also notifies Lewis that the United States is seeking a money judgment in the amount of $105,271.00, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.

According to the indictment and court documents, Lewis was a Department of Veterans Affairs employee who stole the identities of patients at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital. Lewis then sold those identities to others, who used them to file fraudulent U.S. income tax returns and obtain fraudulent tax refunds.

Special Agent in Charge Quentin G. Aucoin of the Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General, stated, "These crimes are particularly egregious, and the VA Office of Inspector General is dedicated to aggressively investigating individuals who misuse patient information, especially when used for personal and financial gain."

Special Agent in Charge James Robnett of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation stated, "The indictment and arrest of David F. Lewis by members of the Tampa Bay Alliance, in partnership with the US Attorney's office, demonstrates the continued commitment the members of the alliance have in investigating identity theft and stolen identify refund fraud that is in the Tampa Bay area. The alliance will continue to vigorously investigate this crime which has victimized the most vulnerable citizens in the Tampa Bay area."

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs - OIG, the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, the Tampa Police Department, and the Florida Highway Patrol. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sara C. Sweeney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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