Texas man who offered protected well being data sentenced to jail

A McKinney, Texas, man who was accused of stealing protected well being data was sentenced to 48 months in federal jail this week.

In accordance with a U.S. Division of Justice press launch, 46-year-old Demetrius Cervantes pleaded responsible this previous December to conspiracy to acquire data from a protected laptop.   

WHY IT MATTERS

As outlined in courtroom paperwork, Cervantes, together with Amanda Lowry and Lydia Henslee, have been named in a federal indictment in September 2019.  

The three allegedly breached a supplier’s digital well being report system with the goal of stealing sufferers’ PHI and personally identifiable data.   

This stolen data, in line with the DOJ, was then “repackaged” within the type of faux doctor orders, after which offered to sturdy medical tools contractors.    

The information netted upwards of $1.4 million, which the DOJ says defendants then used to fund the purchases of SUVs, off-road automobiles and jet skis.

Lowry, who additionally pleaded responsible to conspiracy to acquire data from a protected laptop, can be sentenced later this month.  

Henslee, in the meantime, was charged in a ten-count superseding indictment with one depend of conspiracy to unlawfully switch, possess, and use a way of identification, and 9 counts of unlawfully transferring, possessing, and utilizing a way of identification.   

She pleaded responsible to conspiring to own and use technique of identification in reference to varied offenses on March 25; a sentencing date has not been set.  

THE LARGER TREND

Though breaches and theft of protected well being data are sadly all too widespread, usually the perpetrators are shadowy hacking teams demanding tens of millions of {dollars} to revive knowledge, relatively than people apparently seeking to make a fast buck. (Although, as Cervantes’ case exhibits, the latter just isn’t unprecedented.)  

Nonetheless, the DOJ has flexed its enforcement muscle in each instances. This previous month, Reuters reported that the company will elevate its ransomware investigations to a terrorism-level precedence, reflecting the urgency decision-makers really feel concerning the concern.   

ON THE RECORD  

“In the present day’s sentence sends the message that the theft of protected well being data, the fabrication of physicians’ orders, and the sale of prescriptions is not going to be tolerated within the Jap District of Texas,” mentioned Performing U.S. Legal professional Nicholas J. Ganjei in a press release.    

“This workplace will proceed to pursue those that place income over sufferers and manipulate the healthcare system for his or her private achieve,” Ganjei continued.

 

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT Information.
Twitter: @kjercich
E-mail: [email protected]
Healthcare IT Information is a HIMSS Media publication.

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