Former Hospital Employee Sentenced to a Year in Jail for Stealing Patients’ Identity Information
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 02, 2009|
NORFOLK, VA—Nichole Easton, age 23, of Virginia Beach, was sentenced today to 12 months and one day in prison for stealing identity information belonging to hospital patients. Dana Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Easton was sentenced by United States District Judge Mark S. Davis. Easton previously had pled guilty in federal court on September 9, 2008, to the charge of aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, Easton formerly worked as a patient registrar at Bon Secours Hampton Roads DePaul Hospital. Beginning in October 2007, and continuing into early 2008, at the request of her soon-to-be husband, Massimiliano DiBernardo, Easton accessed and stole identity information from the hospital’s computer system. Easton then provided the information to DiBernardo and several other conspirators, who used the information to defraud Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU).
In January 2008, the conspirators used the information supplied by Easton to submit two fraudulent online applications for car loans from NFCU. After NFCU approved the loans in the patients’ names, without the knowledge of the patients, Easton and other conspirators stole the NFCU loan drafts from the mail and negotiated them for cash, without buying the cars noted in the loan applications. In February 2008, the conspirators also used identity information stolen from another source to apply for and obtain two additional fraudulent car loans from NFCU. As a result of this identity theft and fraudulent loan scheme, the conspirators obtained loan drafts from NFCU totaling $133,500. To date, seven persons, including Nichole Easton, have been charged in Norfolk federal court in conjunction with this scheme.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia Beach Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys James A. Metcalfe and Robert J. Krask prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.