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Leader of Hospital Identity Theft Ring Sentenced

The ringleader of an identity theft/tax fraud ring that involved Troy Regional Medical Center in Alabama has received a 10-year prison sentence, the Troy Messenger newspaper reports.

Rhashema Deramus pleaded guilty for operating a ring that stole patient information from the hospital, used the identities to file fraudulent tax returns, and placed the refunds on at least 520 pre-paid debit cards, which ring members then cashed out at ATMs, collecting nearly $1.2 million. In her plea bargain, she agreed to testify against other defendants.

A contract employee at the hospital who recently was sentenced to 65 months in prison provided Deramus the information on 881 patients. The information included names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, among other data.

A Secret Service agent told the newspaper that about 7,000 individuals were affected by the identity theft.

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