New Orleans, La. - A former worker of Ochsner Medical Center and his girlfriend were sentenced in federal court in a scheme that involved stolen patients records that were used to order merchandise over the Internet.
50-year-old Clyde Washington worked at Ochsner as a janitor from November 2008 until June 3, 2009. Federal prosecutors say Washington stole printouts containing confidential patient information such as names, social security numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers, home addresses and other personal information that was intended to be shredded.
According to federal documents, Washington brought the stolen patient information sheets to the residence of his girlfriend, 26-year-old Sherrie Blair, who then created online accounts with companies such as Kohl's, Target, American Eagle, Old Navy, Citizen's Bank and Best Buy, in the names of the hospital patients contained on the information sheets. Prosecutors say she opened accounts, then ordered merchandise to be shipped to her home.
Documents show Blaire bought items such as DVDs, CDs, loans, an $800 ring, a 42-inch Samsung plasma television and gift cards, all in the names of the hospital patients.
Blaire has been sentenced to 27 months in prison. Washington was given three years probation with the special condition of six months of community confinement followed by six months of home incarceration.
Blaire previously pled guilty to mail fraud and identity theft. Washington pled guilty to the wrongful disclosure of protected patient information.