Plant City Woman Sentenced In Identity Theft Scheme
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell today sentenced Sharmekia Young (36, Plant City) to three years in federal prison for conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. Young pleaded guilty on March 29, 2017.
According to court documents, Young worked at a healthcare company’s billing center in Lakeland, Florida. As an employee of the company, she had password-protected access to the company’s secure computerized databases, which contained medical records and the Personal Identifiable Information (PII) of its customers and patients, including names, dates of birth, and social security numbers.
Young agreed with another employee, Fontella James, to steal hundreds of patients’ records containing the PII of their customers, to sell to another co-conspirator, Vickie Bryant. Young and James provided the PII to Bryant so that Bryant could sell the information to another individual who then manufactured, sold, and used counterfeit credit cards and counterfeit State of Florida Drivers Licenses. On or about June 9, 2016, and again on June 16, 2016, Bryant met with the individual and sold him PII of 957 different victims.
In December 2016, Bryant was sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment for access device (credit card) fraud and aggravated identity theft. James was sentenced to 32 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy and aggravated identity theft in June 2017.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Tampa Police Department, as part of the Secret Service’s Financial Investigations Strike Team. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rachel Jones, Amanda Riedel, and Adam Saltzman.