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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 23, 2015

Miami-Dade County Resident Sentenced In Identity Theft Scheme Involving Over 8,600 Patients’ Identities

A Miami-Dade County resident was sentenced to 61 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Noel Barrientos previously pled guilty to one count of possessing fifteen or more access devices (social security numbers of other people) and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to court documents, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Barrientos’ residence based on suspected narcotics activity. During the search warrant, officers observed and recovered a total of 15 credit/debit cards that were located throughout the premises all in different names including names of men and women not associated with Barrientos or his residence. Three of the cards were located in Barrientos’ wallet.

Court documents also state that during the search warrant, law enforcement found a computer that contained a file with the names, dates of birth, and social security numbers of 8,678 unique patients. Agents determined that the list came from a doctor’s office located on Sunset Drive in South Miami. A former doctor’s office employee, Gillian Armstrong [1:14-cr-20339], had access to the patient list and sold it to Barrientos. Barrientos sold the names to other individuals who used the fraudulently obtained names to file fraudulent income tax returns. Law enforcement officers also tracked fraudulent income tax return filings to Barrientos’ residence.

On September 16, 2015, Armstrong was sentenced to 36 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for her role in the scheme. Armstrong previously pled guilty to one count of possessing fifteen or more access devices (social security numbers of other people) and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI and the USSS. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brooke C. Watson.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 12, 2015