Theft of Patient Information and Tax Fraud Guilty Charge for Former Nurse Convicted

by | Oct 30, 2017

A former staff nurse, 41-year old Tangela Lawson-Brown from Midway, has been found guilty by a court in Tallahassee of the theft of patient information in order to commit aggravated identity theft and  wire fraud, and to steal government funds. 

Between October 2011 and December 2012, Tangela Lawson-Brown was employed as a staff nurse in a Tallahassee nursing home. Following the arrest of her husband on an unrelated matter in January 2013, Tallahassee Police Officers found a notebook in her car containing personally identifiable information for more than 150 people.

An IRS investigation found that the theft of patient information had enabled Lawson-Brown to fraudulently file income tax returns for 105 people. 38 of the returns were made on behalf of residents of the nursing home. Another 42 victims were residents at nursing homes in central Florida, where friends and relatives of Lawson-Brown worked.

Lawson-Brown was charged with the theft of patient information and using it to commit aggravated identity theft by means of wire fraud and theft of government funds. She was also charged with possessing unauthorized access devices to submit more than $1 million in fraudulent income tax returns and receive $141,790 in refunds.

At the hearing in Tallahassee, the court heard the refunds were deposited in multiple bank accounts used by Lawson-Brown and used to pay personal expenses, cover car repairs, and to pay off the mortgage for her house. Lawson-Brown was found guilty of the charges and the possibility exist she could be sentenced to up to 20 years for each count of wire fraud, 10 years for each count of theft of government funds and possession of unauthorized access devices. Another two years will be added to her final sentence for aggravated identity theft. Sentencing is scheduled for January 4, 2018,

Speaking after the hearing, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Christopher P. Canova, commented, “This case illustrates the vulnerability of elderly and disabled persons. Relatives and other caregivers should be alert to unauthorized tax returns, bank accounts, credit cards, and financial transactions, and should immediately report identity theft crimes to law enforcement agencies.”

UPDATE: In January 2018, Lawson-Brown was sentenced to a total of sixty months for the theft of patient information – 36 months on each of two counts of wire fraud, one count of theft of government funds, and one count of possessing fifteen or more access devices. The sentences must be served consecutively to the 24-month sentence imposed upon Lawson-Brown for using the identities of other persons in her fraudulent scheme. Lawson-Brown was also ordered to pay $141,790 in restitution to the IRS.

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy is a highly accomplished journalist and editor with nearly two decades of experience in the field. With expertise in writing and editing content, Patrick has made significant contributions to various publications and organizations. Over the course of his career, Patrick has successfully managed teams of writers, overseeing the production of high-quality content and ensuring its adherence to professional standards. His exceptional leadership skills, combined with his deep understanding of journalistic principles, have allowed him to create cohesive and engaging narratives that resonate with readers. A notable area of specialization for Patrick lies in compliance, particularly in relation to HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). He has authored numerous articles delving into the complexities of compliance and its implications for various industries. Patrick's comprehensive understanding of HIPAA regulations has positioned him as a go-to expert, sought after for his insights and expertise in this field. Patrick's bachelors degree is from the University of Limerick and his master's degree in journalism is from Dublin City University. You can contact Patrick through his LinkedIn profile:

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