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Christopher Lykes, a former employee of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, has been arrested for allegedly stealing the personal information of 228,435 Medicaid beneficiaries.
"On Thursday afternoon, Lykes was arrested by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division and booked at the Richland County Detention Center," writes The Post and Courier's Stephen Largen. "He was charged with five counts of violating the Medically Indigent Act and one count of disclosure of confidential information."
"The information inappropriately transferred in the breach incident, according to the South Carolina Department of Health & Human Services, includes names, phone numbers, addresses, birth dates and Medicaid ID numbers," writes GovInfoSecurity's Howard Anderson. "For almost 23,000 of the affected patients, Medicare numbers, which contain Social Security numbers, also were transferred. No private medical records or financial information was involved, authorities say."
"The newly created state Inspector General’s Office discovered the theft when it began an investigation of Lykes for poor performance," Infosecurity reports. "Lykes was a project manager at the department. In a statement, the department said that it is notifying the affected individuals and offering free identity theft protection services. Around 90 percent of the affected individuals live in Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Lexington, Orangeburg, and Richland counties."
"Letters will be mailed Saturday or Monday to the home addresses of the Medicaid clients whose information has been compromised," writes TheState.com's Joey Holleman. "They will be provided a personal activation code and asked to call (888) 829-6561 to get more information about the identity protection program."