New Jersey Medical Employee Admits Identity Theft

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Berness Swan, 44, of Spring Hill, Fla., formerly of Sicklerville, N.J., recently pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property and one count of aggravated identity theft in connection with a stolen identity refund fraud (SIRF) scheme.

According to court documents, Swan was an employee of the Phoenix Medical Group in Mount Laurel, N.J., from January 8, 2009 through March 23, 2012, where had access to patients' personal information, including their Social Security numbers and birthdates.

Swan used that information to file fraudulent U.S. income tax returns seeking thousands of dollars in refunds, which caused losses to the U.S. Treasury totaling more than $120,000 -- the refunds were issued to bank accounts under Swan's control.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 7, 2014. Swan faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the count of theft of government property, and a mandatory two year prison sentence for the count of aggravated identity theft.