News and Press Releases

Man Who Unlawfully Purchased Umc Patient Record Information Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison

May 4, 2011

Les Vegas, Nev. – The man who pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to receive and disclose University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC) patient records in order to solicit clients for personal injury attorneys, was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Richard W. Charette, 55, of Las Vegas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson. Charette pleaded guilty on February 1, 2011, as originally charged, to conspiracy to illegally disclose personal health information in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act of 1996 (HIPAA).

"We will vigorously investigate and prosecute persons who knowingly disclose confidential health information for personal gain," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "If you are employed in the medical or health profession and know of persons who are participating in this sort of criminal conduct, please report it to the FBI."

Between about January and November 19, 2009, Charette conspired with the manager of the trauma resuscitation department at UMC, and others, to illegally disclose patient record information for personal gain. Charette approached the manager and convinced him to obtain and provide to Charette "face sheets" from the records of patients who had been treated in the UMC trauma department. Between about July 31 and November 19, 2009, Charette received face sheets from the trauma resuscitation department manager, via facsimile transmission, on at least 55 occasions. Charette then used the information from the face sheets to solicit patients for legal and medical referrals. Charette paid the trauma resuscitation department manager for each patient who retained a personal injury attorney or chiropractor with whom Charette was affiliated, for a total of approximately $9,200.

Charette was permitted to self-report to federal prison by August 5, 2011.

The investigation is continuing, and is being conducted by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Crane M. Pomerantz and Sarah Griswold.

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