On May 8th, 2008, John C. Richter, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, announced in a press release that a 30-year old Oklahoma City woman who pled guilty to violating HIPAA may face up 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000!
As part of her plea, the woman admitted that in the summer of 2007, while she was employed by a counseling center in Oklahoma City, she knowingly allowed two individuals to take patient files from her place of employment which contained individually identifiable health information with the intent to obtain personal gain. The press release provides more details of the circumstances of the case.
U.S. Attorney John C. Richter states in his Department of Justice press release:
“This case illustrates how easily an illegal disclosure of patient files can be used by others to commit identity theft causing financial trauma to many victims.”
A sentencing hearing is supposed to be set in approximately 90 days.