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Press Release

Physicians Group Employee Admits to Attempted Extortion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A former employee of a Providence not-for-profit physicians group today admitted that he attempted to extort $25,000 from the physicians group in exchange for the return of digital media devices onto which he downloaded and took home private patient data and employee data belonging to the physicians group.

Randy Lutz, 37, of Providence, admitted to making the demands in a series of emails, text messages and telephone calls to executives, board members and employees of the physicians group after his employment with the physicians group was terminated in May 2017.

On July 20, 2017, FBI agents and FBI task force officers executed a court-authorized search warrant at Lutz’s residence and seized several thumb drives, a laptop computer, and a cell phone. Some of the devices contained private patient and employee data belonging to the physicians group downloaded without permission.

Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, Lutz pled guilty to extortionate interstate communications. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2019.

Lutz’s guilty plea is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division Harold H. Shaw.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly.

United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch acknowledges and thanks the Providence Police Department for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.

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Contact

Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated December 7, 2018

Press Release Number: 18-156