Chester County, Pa., residents Rafael Henriquez Polanco, 30, and his wife, Yanira Lopez, 27, have been charged with filing fraudulent tax returns seeking over $1.7 million in refunds (h/t PHIprivacy.net).

Between January 2008 and September 2011, Polanco and Lopez allegedly paid employees of Community Hospital in Chester, Pa., and Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pa., to provide them with confidential medical forms containing the names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers of hospital patients.

The two then used the stolen identities to file fraudulent tax returns, from which they received federal tax refund checks totalling $257,710.79. They opened several bank accounts using false identities to deposit the refund checks.


Lopez also faces charges related to fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits, and Polanco also faces charges related to cocaine and crack posession and illegal immigration.

If convicted, Polanco faces 32 years' imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a $1 million fine, a $400 special assessment, and full restitution. If convicted, Lopez faces 52 years' imprisonment, three years of supervised release, a $1.25 million fine, a $500 special assessment, and full restitution.

CBS' Tony Hanson reports that two hospital employees have also been fired in connection with the case, and procedures for handling and disposing of documents containing patient information have been modified.