Tuesday, February 20, 2018
News Roundup

Haley, Tampa General Hospital employees accused of selling patient IDs

TAMPA — Federal authorities say employees at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center and Tampa General Hospital stole patients' identities in tax fraud schemes.

Haley employee David F. Lewis is accused of taking the names and Social Security numbers of dozens of hospital patients and selling the information to people who used it to file fraudulent tax returns and get refunds, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa said Wednesday.

Lewis has a severe drug problem and acknowledged to investigators that he sold some of the patient information in exchange for crack cocaine, federal prosecutors said. Haley officials declined to comment but confirmed that Lewis worked as a medical support assistant until he was transferred to the hospital laundry earlier this year.

Lewis made $105,271 in the scheme, which the government said it is seeking to recover. He has pleaded not guilty to 12 charges that include aggravated identity theft and the wrongful disclosure of health information.

Meanwhile, a federal grand jury this week indicted Tigi Moore, a clerk in Tampa General Hospital's records department. She is accused of taking the names and Social Security numbers of nine patients to file fraudulent income tax returns and collect the refunds.

Moore, who had worked at TGH since 1998, was placed on unpaid administrative leave in October when authorities notified the hospital that she was under investigation, TGH spokesman John Dunn said.

According to the indictment, Moore took nine patients' information between March and September 2012 and gave it to two men, Corey A. Coley Sr. and Albert E. Moore Jr., as part of a wider scheme that wound up defrauding the government out of more than $671,000.

Officials say that scheme also involved using the identities of minors on probation. Coley, a former probation officer for Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice, was charged in March with using the juvenile defendants' identities to collect fraudulently obtained income tax refunds. Albert E. Moore Jr., a Walmart employee, was also charged in the scheme.

All three were indicted on conspiracy, wire fraud and theft of government property charges. Tigi Moore was also indicted on nine counts of wrongful disclosure of health information.

A conviction for wrongful disclosure of health information carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

"These crimes are particularly egregious, and the VA Office of Inspector General is dedicated to aggressively investigating individuals who misuse patient information, especially when used for personal and financial gain," said Special Agent in Charge Quentin G. Aucoin of the VA's Office of Inspector General.

William R. Levesque can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3432. Jodie Tillman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374.

Comments
Middleton, Robinson students arrested in threats to shoot up schools, Tampa police say

Middleton, Robinson students arrested in threats to shoot up schools, Tampa police say

TAMPA — Two Tampa boys, one 15 and one 16, have been arrested for making unrelated threats to shoot up their campuses — Middleton and Robinson high schools.Neither was deemed a credible threat, but the arrests were made anyway. The teens are charge...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Video released of suspect in sexual assault of Pasco woman, 71

Video released of suspect in sexual assault of Pasco woman, 71

NEW PORT RICHEY— Iris Ramos couldn’t sleep Monday night.Ramos, 70, lives four doors down from a house at 7437 Heather St., where Pasco County deputies reported a home invasion and rape of a 71-year-old woman Monday morning. Ramos had helped the woman...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
U.S. biathletes, who shoot guns to compete, speak out on gun control for America

U.S. biathletes, who shoot guns to compete, speak out on gun control for America

DAEGWALLYEONG, South Korea — For his profession, Lowell Bailey wears a .22 caliber rifle strapped to his back. It has taken him across the world and to four Olympic Games, most recently to the biathlon mixed relay Tuesday night at Alpensia Biathlon C...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Investigators find insufficient evidence against former state fair executive director

Investigators find insufficient evidence against former state fair executive director

TAMPA — Charles Pesano may have used his position as executive director of the Florida State Fair to funnel business to his family’s company, get Tampa Bay Rays tickets and have a hot tub installed in his Valrico home, but there is no evidence he com...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Age is a valued number for motocross rider Chad Reed

Age is a valued number for motocross rider Chad Reed

Chad Reed is set to break one of the most impressive records in motorsports, but it’s not the mark he wants most.The Dade City resident and native Australian has started 227 main events in the Monster Energy Supercross 450 cc series, tying former rid...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election charged an attorney Tuesday with lying to federal investigators about his interactions with a former Trump campaign official. A charging document filed in federa...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Top 5 at noon: Mayors in Florida face fines of $5,000 if they enact stricter rules on gun control; Bucs release running back Doug Martin; and more

Top 5 at noon: Mayors in Florida face fines of $5,000 if they enact stricter rules on gun control; Bucs release running back Doug Martin; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com.MAYORS IN FLORIDA FACE FINES OF $5,000 IF THEY ENACT STRICTER RULES ON GUN CONTROLSouth Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard may be one of the most liberal mayors in Florida, so he would be a natural ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Schools, Tampa police warn against ‘misleading’ school security reports

Schools, Tampa police warn against ‘misleading’ school security reports

TAMPA — During a news conference Tuesday morning, Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan warned against misleading investigators with reports about school security."Spread the word," the school said in a t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

Yes, we have some bananas: Port Tampa Bay welcomes first shipment in 21 years

TAMPA — More than two decades after the last bunch arrived on shore, bananas are back at Tampa’s port. More than 3,900 pallets of Chiquita bananas from Ecuador arrived last week at the new Port Logistics Refrigerated Services warehouse.It was the fir...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Parkland students going to Tallahassee to push for gun law changes

Parkland students going to Tallahassee to push for gun law changes

PARKLAND — A hundred Stoneman Douglas High School students are busing 400 miles to Florida’s capital Tuesday to urge lawmakers to act to prevent a repeat of the massacre that killed 17 students and faculty last week. The students plan to hold a rally...
Updated: 2 hours ago