A former receptionist at a New York dental practice has convicted of stealing the protected health information (PHI) of 653 patients at her formed place of work.
A s a part of her role at the dental practice, Annie Vuong, 31, was given access to the computer system that housed the dental records of patients. Access to the systems were deemed necessary by her employers in order for her to complete her work duties, despite the sensitive information that they contained. Using her access to the system, Vuong stole the PHI of hundreds patients of the facility with the intent of using it for personal gain. Vuong then passed this information on to Devin Bazile, who appeared as her co-defendants at the trial. Bazile, along with several co-conspirators, then used the data to commit identity fraud. Several high value purchases were made under the names of the victims of the data theft.
The New York District Attorney was made aware of the crimes, and launched a two and a half year investigation into the large scale identity theft. This culminated in Vuong being arrested on February 2, 2015.
The investigation revealed that the data was stolen occurred between May and November 2012. The types of information stolen included names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers. That information was shared with co-defendant Devin Bazile in an email.
Bazile used the information to obtain credit lines from Barclaycard in the victims’ names. The credit line ranged from $2,000 to $7,000 per individual. Bazile, along with co-defendants Joshua Hamilton and Ahmeen Evans, used the credit to purchase Apple gift cards. These gift cards were then used by buy tablets and laptop computers. In total, more than $700,000 of fraudulent purchases were made using the stolen identities.
Prior to Vuong’s sentencing, Bazile and Haughton were already tried and convicted for their roles in the scheme. Bazile and Haughton were convicted of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree in 2015 and were sentenced to serve 3 to 9 years and 16 months to 4 years in jail respectively. Evans was also convicted of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and was sentenced to 5 years’ probation.
During her trial, 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 Unlawful Possession of Personal Identification Information in the Second Degree. She has been sentenced to 2 to 6 years in a state penitentiary for her crimes.