In a really disturbing case of alleged id theft, a Scripps Well being employee is accused of stealing the private data of sufferers — particularly concentrating on the deceased and dying, and even a homeless affected person — after which promoting it to a number of others, who have been concerned in fraudulently making use of for COVID-19 unemployment advantages.
The grievance, which was unsealed July 9th, features a troubling chain of textual content messages through which Matthew Lombardo allegedly writes “this man died only a few hours in the past,” and “this one simply died should you wanna attempt.”
Additionally named within the grievance are Konrad Piekos, Ryan Genetti and Dobrilla “BeBe” Milosavljevic.
The group has been charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Aggravated Id Theft, Wrongful Disclosure of Individually Identifiable Well being Info and Conspiracy.
In response to a U.S. Legal professional’s workplace spokesperson, all 4 have pleaded not responsible.
“Mr. Lombardo was a affected person companies specialist employed by Scripps Well being on an as-needed foundation from Could 13, 2019 to April 14, 2021. He was terminated on April 14, 2021, for trigger. Scripps takes its duty for shielding affected person privateness very significantly and is cooperating with the federal government investigation,” reads an announcement from Scripps Well being Public Info Director Keith Darce.
Darce didn’t say the place the id thefts passed off.
The federal grievance additionally doesn’t say whether or not any of the fraudulent claims for unemployment advantages have been profitable, however the grievance does say the group was profitable in securing bogus claims from a number of individuals who have been incarcerated.
“It’s so troubling. It’s simply despicable,” mentioned Eva Valasquez.
Valasquez leads the San Diego-based Id Theft Useful resource Heart. She referred to as the case a “crime of alternative.”
Velasquez mentioned COVID-19 advantages turned a sexy goal for thieves throughout the pandemic. She mentioned there was a 3,800% enhance within the variety of reported ID theft circumstances.
She is looking on firms to be extra vigilant.
“That is the place they should step as much as the plate and enhance their cybersecurity practices and their information assortment dealing with practices,” mentioned Velasquez.
Genetti can also be going through wire fraud fees stemming from a separate case involving three extra San Diego County residents in line with the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace.
Prosecutors say Genetti, Lindsay Renee Henning, Garrett Carl Tuggle and Salvatore Compilati have been concerned in 108 separate wire fraud conspiracy claims that paid out greater than $1.6 million.
In case you assume you’re a sufferer of COVID-19-related fraud, you’ll be able to go to ic3.gov or suggestions.fbi.gov, or name 1-800-CALL-FBI or the San Diego FBI at 858-320-1800.