March 12, 2013 - A couple in Chester County, Pennsylvania, secretly paid hospital workers to steal patients' personal information then used it to file false tax returns and claim $1.7 million worth of refunds, prosecutors said today.
Rafael Henriquez Polanco and Yanira Lopez allegedly stole the identities of scores of patients at Community Hospital in Chester and Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland between 2008 and 2010, according to documents filed in federal court. They netted more than $257,000 in the scheme, the records show.
The Chester Springs couple were charged with conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, passport fraud and other counts.
According to the charging documents, the couple paid the hospital workers to steal confidential medical forms that listed patients names, birth dates and Social Security numbers. They then filed fraudulent returns, directing refunds to be sent to addresses or bank accounts they set up.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Zane D. Memeger said no one else has yet been charged in the case.
Polanco, 30, an illegal alien from the Dominican Republic, has been detained since early last year on drug trafficking charges.
Reached by phone this afternoon, his lawyer, Evan Kelly, said Polanco will be pleading guilty to the charges, but declined to say more.
It was not immediately clear who was representing Lopez, 27, or if she had been arrested. The charging documents suggested that she, too, planned a guilty plea.
Copyright 2013 - The Philadelphia Inquirer