In one truly troubling case of alleged identity theft, a Scripps Health employee is accused of stealing patient personal information – particularly the deceased and dying, and even a homeless patient – and then selling it to several others who were involved in the fraudulent application for COVID-19 unemployment benefit.
The complaint, which was unsealed on July 9ththeIt contains a troubling string of text messages in which Matthew Lombardo allegedly writes, “This guy only died a few hours ago” and “this guy just died if you want to try”.
Konrad Piekos, Ryan Genetti and Dobrilla “BeBe” Milosavljevic are also mentioned in the complaint.
The group was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, false disclosure of individually identifiable health information, and conspiracy.
According to a US attorney spokesman, all four have pleaded not guilty.
“Mr. Lombardo was employed by Scripps Health as an On-Demand Patient Services Specialist from May 13, 2019 to April 14, 2021. He was fired for an important cause on April 14, 2021. Scripps takes its responsibility for patient privacy very seriously serious and cooperates with the state investigation, ”said a statement from Keith Darce, director of public information for Scripps Health.
Darce didn’t say where the identity thefts took place.
The federal complaint also does not say whether any of the fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits were successful, but the complaint does state that the group managed to secure bogus claims from several detainees.
“It’s so disturbing. It’s just despicable, ”said Eva Valasquez.
Valasquez directs the San Diego-based Identity Theft Resource Center. She described the case as an “opportunity crime”.
Velasquez said the benefits of COVID-19 had become an attractive target for thieves during the pandemic. She said the number of reported identity theft cases had increased by 3,800%.
She calls on companies to be more vigilant.
“This is where they need to come out on top and improve their cybersecurity practices and how they handle data collection,” Velasquez said.
Genetti is also facing wire fraud charges that stem from a separate case involving three other San Diego County residents, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors say Genetti, Lindsay Renee Henning, Garrett Carl Tuggle and Salvatore Compilati were involved in 108 separate wire transfer fraud conspiracy lawsuits that paid out more than $ 1.6 million.
If you believe you are the victim of a COVID-19 related scam, you can visit ic3.gov or tips.fbi.gov, or call 1-800-CALL-FBI or the San Diego FBI at 858-320-1800.