A 39-year-old Florida man has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for theft of hospital data. The man had previously worked at an injury hotline. He was convicted of paying a husband and wife, who worked for Florida Hospital, to access patient data illegally and convey it to him.
The case was rather broad in scope, with the theft of thousands of patient records occurring in a number of Florida hospitals. Those records, mainly of vehicle accident patients, were allegedly sold to the former injury hotline worker, who then used the information to solicit patients for lawyers and chiropractors that he was supposedly associated with. Some patients received referrals over the phone within a week of their hospital visit from callers with knowledge of their accidents.
The two hospital workers who allegedly obtained the data were eventually linked to the information theft through phone records and money trails. The husband was sentenced to over a year in federal prison for his role in the theft, and his wife is scheduled to be sentenced in July.
People convicted of information theft can be in as much trouble as someone who is convicted of stealing a physical item. Anyone arrested for these crimes may benefit from the services of an attorney who is familiar with all aspects of criminal law. These attorneys may be able to help the accused understand their legal options as the case moves through the court system. The attorney may also be able to negotiate for a less severe sentence.
Source: Orlando Sentinal, “Man sentenced to federal prison for role in Florida Hospital data theft,” Amy Pavuk, April 11, 2013