FOUR ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH IDENTITY THEFT OF CANCER PATIENTS
Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, announced the unsealing of a nine count indictment charging defendants Sharita Hubbard, 31, Onakia Griffin, 31, Lakenya Knight, 33, all of Pompano Beach, Florida, and Cherralyn Milton-Browner, 37, for their alleged participation in a scheme to steal personal information of patients at medical clinics and to use the patients’ stolen information to obtain fraudulent credit accounts.
According to the indictment, Sharita Hubbard was employed at various times by University MRI Diagnostic Center, Holy Cross Hospital, North Ridge Medical Center, and Oncology and Hematology Associates of West Broward in the medical records department. In the course of her duties at each medical records department, Hubbard was authorized to access patient files and copy patient face sheets.
The indictment alleges that from October 2008 through February 10, 2010, the defendants conspired to unjustly enrich themselves by having Hubbard steal personal information of patients of University MRI Diagnostic Center, Holy Cross Hospital, North Ridge Medical Center, and Oncology and Hematology Associates of West Broward, including, among other information, the patients’ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, Medicare numbers, and addresses, and then use the patients’ stolen information to obtain Care Credit accounts and Chevron Visa credit cards. In this manner, the defendants applied for and obtained credit cards in the patients’ names, and defrauded the victims of approximately $162,000.
The indictment charges the individual defendants with conspiracy to commit wire, identity theft, and credit card fraud, substantive wire fraud, credit card fraud, and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum term of imprisonment of 5 years on the conspiracy charge, 20 years on each charge of wire fraud, 10 years on the credit card fraud charge, and a mandatory consecutive 2 years on each charge of aggravated identity theft.
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the agents of the United States Secret Service for their hard work in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Keene.
An Indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.