Medical Assistant Pleads Guilty To Aggravated Identity Theft
LITTLE ROCK – Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced today that Mesha White, age 34, of Little Rock, appeared before United States District Court Judge Susan Webber Wright on June 3, 2015, and pled guilty to an indictment charging her with aggravated identity theft.
In April 2014, a federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment charging White with seven counts of misusing a Social Security number and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. After pleading guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft the remaining counts in the indictment were dismissed. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1028A, the aggravated identity theft count carries with it a mandatory sentence of two years imprisonment with one year of supervised release to follow. Restitution will also be required.
White was formerly employed as a medical assistant at a dermatology clinic in Little Rock. The job afforded her regular access to medical files that contained sensitive, personally identifiable information such as patient dates of birth and social security numbers. Over several weeks in November and December 2012, White used this patient information to open fraudulent lines of credit through various online retailers from which she proceeded to make thousands of dollars in purchases. Law enforcement subsequently linked these fraudulent transactions to the IP address of the dermatologist’s clinic, where internal records revealed that many of the transactions had processed on dates and times when White was alone in the office.
Additional investigation uncovered that had White shipped many of the fraudulent purchases to a vacant unit in a housing complex where she formerly resided. A complex resident had observed White collect boxes left at the vacant unit’s door and depart in a blue BMW sedan, which law enforcement later traced to White’s mother. In all, White 425 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 500 (501) 340-2600 Post Office Box 1229 Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-1229 misused sensitive information belonging to thirteen different patients. Under the terms of her plea agreement, White will serve a mandatory two-year term of imprisonment, face up to three years’ of supervised release, and be compelled to make complete restitution to all victims of her offense.
White will be sentenced by Judge Wright at a later date.
The case was investigated by the Special Agents Chad Yielding and John Stump of the United States Secret Service and Detectives Karen Farley and Linda Hudson of the Little Rock Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Alexander D. Morgan prosecuted the matter for the United States.