Respiratory Therapist Admits Theft of Patient Data

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Betty Cole, 34, recently pled guilty for her participation in an identity theft tax fraud scheme.

Cole, who faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison, pled guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of conspiracy to possess 15 or more unauthorized access devices.

According to the plea documents, from approximately June 2011 to February 2012, Cole worked as a respiratory therapist at Florida's South Miami Hospital, where she had access to patients' names, birthdates and Social Security numbers in the course of her job duties.

In or around June 2011 and in or around February 2011, Cole provided Alci Bonannee with more than 800 patients' personal data, which Bonannee then used to file fraudulent tax returns seeking refunds. Bonannee paid Cole thousands of dollars in exchange for the data.

In April 2013, Bonannee was sentenced to 26 years and five months in prison, and was ordered to pay more than $1.9 million in restitution.