One of two people accused of executing a scheme to steal patient information from Albany Medical Center and then turn that into credit cards in the patients’ names was sentenced this morning to up to 15 years in state prison.
The center of the case, a former Albany Medical Center nurse who admitted previously to taking the information, is to be sentenced herself Tuesday, also to up to 15 years in state prison.
Emmett Woods, 25, of Albany, was sentenced this morning. Woods pleaded guilty in June to identity theft, scheming to defraud, and possession of a forged instrument, felonies.
Woods received the maximum under his plea deal, 7.5 to 15 years in state prison.
He admitted then to using information provided by his girlfriend, then-nurse Suzette Guzman-Moore, to set up credit card accounts in patients’ names and then using those cards to buy gift cards. The gift cards were then converted to cash.
Guzman-Moore procured the identity information from her job at the hospital, writing down social security numbers and names of patients at work.
Authorities said they found lists with information from more than 100 patients. The couple used information from about 60 to apply for credit cards.
Restitution was set at $23,000. Both Woods and Guzman-Moore are responsible for that figure.
Guzman-Moore faces a maximum of 5 to 15 years in state prison at her sentencing Tuesday.
Guzman-Moore began work at Albany Medical Center in 2010, hospital officials said. She was also working her way through further schooling to be a registered nurse, sheriff’s officials said.
Investigators also checked other places where Guzman-Moore went on rotations through school. She did not rotate through Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, officials said.
The scheme began to unravel in April, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple has said. That’s when a woman reported that someone had used her information, including Social Security number, to open credit card accounts and make purchases. The woman also told investigators that the only place she had given out her social security number was Albany Medical Center, Apple said. She had had a minor examination there.
The investigation soon kicked into high gear as they received information about Woods, Apple said. Investigators watched him and kept him under surveillance. They soon found out he had a girlfriend living with him and that she worked at Albany Medical Center.
The two then used the information to apply for and open credit cards, he said. They then allegedly had those cards mailed to residences that they were familiar with.
Authorities have said the case highlighted the importance of regularly checking credit reports, bank statements and other documents.