Former Sentara Healthcare Nurse's Aides Charged with Identity Theft

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The Virginian-Pilot reports that two former Sentara Healthcare nurse's aides were recently indicted on charges of stealing at least a dozen patients' identities, which were then used to obtain more than $116,000 in fraudulent tax refunds (h/t PHIprivacy.net)

From approximately September 2011 to April 2013, Festus Ighalo, 36, of Virginia Beach, Va., and Emmanuel Effiong, 35, of Dallas, Texas, allegedly provided other people with patients' names, birthdates and Social Security numbers. The accomplices would then file fraudulent tax returns in those people's names claiming refunds.

Ighalo and Effiong have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the government, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and several counts of aggravated identity theft.

Sentara chief privacy officer Greg Burkhart told the Virginian-Pilot that the company is working closely with law enforcement. "We take the protection of patient information entrusted to us very seriously and have safeguards in place," he said.

All those affected have been offered a free year of credit monitoring services.