April 13, 2018
An ex-receptionist at a New York dental practice has been penalized to serve 2 to 6 years in state prison for stealing the PHI of hundreds of patients.
Annie Vuong, 31, was given access to the computer system and dental files of patients in order to finish her work duties. Vuong misused the access privileges and stole the PHI of over 650 patients. That information was passed to her co-defendants who utilized the data to steal identities and make fake purchases of high-value objects.
Vuong was detained on February 2, 2015, after a two-and-a-half-year probe into identity theft by the New York District Attorney’s Office.
The theft of data happened between May and November 2012, when the PHI of 653 patients was taken from the dental office. The kinds of information stolen included names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers. That information was shared with co-defendant Devin Bazile in an electronic mail.
Bazile used the information to get credit lines from Barclaycard in the sufferers’ names. Credit varied from $2,000 to $7,000 per person. Bazile together with co-defendants Joshua Hamilton and Ahmeen Evans utilized the credit to buy Apple gift cards that were utilized by buy tablets and laptop computers totaling over $700,000.
Bazile and Haughton had already been found guilty and sentenced to long prison terms for their part in the identity theft scheme. Bazile and Haughton were convicted of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree in 2015 and were penalized to serve 3 to 9 years and 1 and 1/3 to 4 years in prison respectively. Evans was also convicted of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and was sentenced to 5 years’ probation.
Vuong was found guilty of 189 counts against her including one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, 49 counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, 63 counts of Identity Theft in the First Degree, 45 counts of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, 30 counts of Identity Theft in the Second Degree, and one count of Illegal Custody of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree.