Defendant Charged in Scheme to Steal Patient Information
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 31, 2009|
Jeffrey H. Sloman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael J. Folmar, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced the July 23, 2009, indictment of Ruben Rodriguez, who is alleged to have conspired to steal patient information from Jackson Memorial Hospital ("JMH") and sell the information to at least one attorney practicing in South Florida. Mr. Rodriguez made his initial appearance in federal court on July 30th. He was released on a $200,000 personal surety bond.
According to the six-count (6) indictment, Mr. Rodriguez solicited the assistance of Rebecca Garcia, a then employee of JMH working as an ultrasound technician in the Abdominal and Vascular Ultrasound Department. Mr. Rodriguez specifically brokered a deal whereby Ms. Garcia would illegally access, obtain, and transfer certain JMH patient information to him in return for monthly payments. Once in receipt of this information, Mr. Rodriguez would, in turn, pass it along to an attorney, who would use the personal identification information to improperly solicit the JMH patients - with hopes of representing them in future legal proceedings. Mr. Rodriguez was paid by the attorney to provide this information, and his ill-gotten proceeds were dictated, in part, by resulting lawsuits and/or settlements.
If convicted, Mr. Rodriguez faces a maximum of five (5) years' imprisonment for both conspiracy and fraud in connection with computers, and ten (10) years' imprisonment for the wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information. He also faces a mandatory consecutive term - to any other potential conviction - of two (2) years' imprisonment on the aggravated identity theft offenses.
Ms. Garcia, who already has plead guilty to a one-count information charging wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information, likewise faces a maximum of ten (10) years' imprisonment.
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Benton Curtis.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilty. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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 www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/ .