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Press Release

Two Individuals Sentenced for Stealing Personal Information of More Than 1,400 People

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

Two individuals were sentenced on aggravated identity theft and related charges, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Jarod J. Koopman, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; Jeffrey Frost, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Detroit Field Office; and Chief Michael Patton, West Bloomfield Police Department.

Markitta Washington 29, of Hampton, Georgia, and previously of Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Martez Lear, 29 of Farmington Hills, were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew F. Leitman. Washington was ordered to serve 47 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $489,883. Lear was order ordered to serve 56 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $489,883.

According to court records, Washington, worked for Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and DMC Harper Hospital, removed patient records that included Personal Identifying Information (PII); such as names, dates of birth and social security numbers and used the PII to file fraudulent tax returns in other’s names. A search warrant was executed at the shared residence of Washington and Lear located in Farmington Hills. The information recovered at the residence included patient identification documents and handwritten notes that included PII for approximately 1,400 individuals. The tax refunds were directed to accounts under the control of Washington and Lear.

“Identity theft is a contemptible modern-day menace,” said Jarod Koopman, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Law enforcement officers respond to it with every legal resource available. These sentences will serve as a stern warning to those who are considering similar conduct.”

This case was investigated by the Southeast Michigan Financial and Cyber Crimes Task Force, which is based at the Novi Police Department and includes U.S. Secret Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS – Criminal Investigation agents, as well as state and local law enforcement officers from the West Bloomfield, Novi, Royal Oak, Southfield, and Troy Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Abed Hammoud with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.

Hospitals have notified individual victims whose personal identifying information was compromised. Patients of the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital may call (313) 874-9561 with any questions. Patients of DMC Harper Hospital may call (313) 966-8818.

Updated December 21, 2015

Identity Theft