N.Y. Hospital Employee Admits Stealing, Selling Patient Data

Published: April 13, 2008

NEW YORK – A former admissions department employee of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center confessed April 11 to stealing the personal records of nearly 40,000 patients and selling the information.

For more than two years, Dwight McPherson, 38, obtained lists with patient names, phone numbers and Social Security numbers. According to the New York Daily News, he was approached by someone who wanted the personal information of patients born between 1950 and 1970. McPherson sold the data of 1,000 individuals for $750 to that person this winter. An additional batch was sold for $600. Investigators suspect that these breaches may be part of a larger scheme, claims eFlux Media.

According to a hospital spokesperson, it is believed medical information was not among the data stolen.

The hospital suspended McPherson in February after being contacted by federal investigators. It is also contacting those whose information may have been breached and is offering them free credit monitoring services.

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The Department of Justice released the following notice to those who believe they may have been victims of the scam:

“If you believe you were a victim of this crime, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement and/or receive notice of future developments in the case or additional information, please contact Wendy Olsen-Clancy, the Victim Witness Coordinator at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at (866) 874-8900 or Wendy.Olsen@usdoj.gov. For additional information, go to: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/nys/victimwitness.html on the Internet.

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