Former Senior Clerk of Palm Beach County Health Department Sentenced for Her Role in an Identity Theft Tax Refund Fraud Scheme
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office; and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce that Salita St. Simon, 31, of Belle Glade, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra to 24 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. St. Simon was also ordered to pay restitution of $19,896.20.
St. Simon previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 286, one count of conspiracy to obtain and disclose individually identifiable health information, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 and Title 42, United States Code, Sections 1320d-6(a)(2), (a)(3), and (b)(3), and one count of obtaining individually identifiable health information, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Sections 1320d-6(a)(2) and (b)(3).
St. Simon was a senior clerk at a Palm Beach County Health Department (PBCHD) office in Belle Glade, Florida. As a senior clerk, St. Simon had access to the Health Management System (HMS) for the purpose of performing her job duties. HMS was a computerized database containing patient information, including names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, that PBCHD received and created during and in relation to the treatment of its patients. At sentencing, the court found that St. Simon had stolen the social security numbers and other identifying information of 1,858 people. St. Simon stole patient information from HMS and gave it to several other people who were using the information to obtain refunds from the IRS.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and IRS-CI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Osborne.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.