Hospital Employee, Accomplice Plead Guilty to Using Patient Information for Tax Fraud

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Shalamar Major, 32, and Tanisha Wright, 27, both of Deerfield Beach, Fla., recently pled guilty in connection with a tax refund scheme that leveraged stolen information to file online tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds.

According to court documents, Major was employed in early 2012 as a scheduler at Florida's Boca Ration Regional Hospital, where she had access to patients' personal information, including names, birthdates and Social Security numbers. Major provided that information to Wright in return for the promise of future payments, and Wright then used the data to file fraudulent online tax returns claiming refunds.

Wright then apparently instructed the IRS to deposit the refunds onto pre-paid debit cards, which she then used to make withdrawals at ATMs or to make purchases at local businesses. She then split the proceeds with Major.

In total, according to the Justice Department, at least 57 fraudulent tax returns were filed, requesting $306,720 in refunds.

Wright has been convicted to three counts of identity theft, three counts of theft of public money, one count of access device fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of theft of mail, and one count of conspiracy to commit false claims. Major has been convicted of one count of unauthorized HIPAA disclosures and one count of conspiracy to commit false claims.