delaware county man pleads guilty to stealing hospital patients' identities for use in tax fraud scheme
PHILADELPHIA - Reynaldo Estrada, 50, of Brookhaven, PA, pleaded guilty today to charges arising out of his theft of personal identifying information of hospital patients. Estrada pleaded guilty today to one count each of conspiracy to commit identity theft, aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting the use of a false Social Security number.
Between October 2010 and October 2011, while he was working for Crozer Chester Medical Center’s Environmental Services Department and at Community Hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania, Estrada stole scores of treatment authorization forms containing the names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of patients. Estrada admitted today that he gave the forms to co-conspirators Rafael Henriquez Polanco and Yanira Lopez, who paid him for the stolen identities, knowing that the forms would be used as a part of a tax fraud scheme. Polanco and Lopez are charged in a separate indictment with using the identifying information provided by Estrada to prepare and file approximately 144 false and fraudulent federal individual income tax returns claiming bogus refunds in excess of $1.7 million. Both Polanco and Lopez have pleaded guilty to all charges against them.
U.S. District Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg scheduled Estrada’s sentencing for July 31, 2014. Estrada faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, and U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Brenner.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
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