Troy woman indicted for patient identity theft

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Troy woman has been indicted on 22 counts related to identity theft.

Angeline Austin, 41, is accused of taking 880 names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth of patients who had been cared for at Troy Regional Medical Center. Authorities said she then sold the information to another person who filed fraudulent tax returns. The hospital learned of the thefts in May 2011.

“I would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies that were involved in this case in seeking justice for the patients who were victimized during this incident,” said Teresa Grimes, TRMC chief executive officer. “I would also like to commend the victims for their cooperation and patience during the investigation of this unfortunate situation.”

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Grimes said the theft didn’t involve medical records and was limited to patients born between 1988 and 1992.

Following notification of the security breech, the hospital provided one year of free identity protection to the patents affected and required immediate, mandatory training regarding protecting patient information to all 315 employees and contractors working at TRMC.

Grimes said the staff was diligent in their response to the incident and throughout the investigation.

Count one of the indictment presented on Tuesday alleges that Austin conspired with others to defraud the United States while she was employed with Southern Records Management Inc. and was assigned to TRMC.

Authorities say that Austin sold the information she gathered known as “identifiers” for $1,500 per every hundred names. The second person used those identifiers to prepare fraudulent tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Fraudulent tax refunds were then sent to Austin and other conspirators on prepaid debit cards.

Counts two through eight of the indictment say that Austin transferred, possessed or used with out lawful authority the identification of other people with the intent to commit theft of government property.

Counts nine through 15 allege that Austin exceeded her authorized access to TRMC’s computer system for identity theft. And counts 16 through 22 were related to Austin taking, transferring and using the identification of others.

“Identity theft can ruin a person’s life by ruining their credit and ruining their entire financial situation,” U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr. said. “This office will continue to vigorously prosecute those who seek to make money from stealing people’s identities.”

The Secret Service and the U.S. Attorney’s Office investigated this multi-state case.

If you believe you may have been a victim of these alleged crimes, visit, or contact the U.S. Attorney’s victim hotline at 866-699-0840.”