San Antonio Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Scheme to Collect Thousands of Dollars in Unemployment Benefits
Today in San Antonio, Andrea Nicole Brooks, age 30, was sentenced to 121 months in federal prison for a scheme to fraudulently collect unemployment benefits announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.
In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Orlando Garcia ordered that Brooks pay $361,597 restitution to the Texas Workforce Commission and be placed on supervised release for a period of three years after completing her prison term.
On November 22, 2013, Brooks pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. According to court records, the defendant was employed as a Transplant Assistant III at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital in San Antonio from January 2012 through November 2012. By pleading guilty, Brooks admitted that from March 2012 to December 2012, she obtained personal identification information, including Social Security Numbers and dates of birth, of hospital patients. She then used that information to fraudulently obtain unemployment benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission. Brooks also admitted that she received money from others for providing them with the stolen patient information so that they, too, could use it to illegally collect unemployment benefits.
“This was an egregious breach of trust, exploiting personal information of patients for financial gain. This case should send the clear message that those entrusted with patient information will be held fully accountable for misusing it for personal gain,” stated Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.
The case was investigated by the Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Moore prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.