Las Vegas Sun

November 30, 2015

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Man gets 33 months for disclosing UMC patient records for personal gain

A Las Vegas man received a 33-month federal prison sentence today resulting from his participation in a conspiracy to receive and disclose University Medical Center patient records to solicit clients for personal injury attorneys, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden announced.

Richard Charette, 55 was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson on the basis of a Feb. 1 guilty plea to conspiracy to illegally disclose personal health information in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Charette was permitted to self-report to prison by Aug. 5.

“We will vigorously investigate and prosecute persons who knowingly disclose confidential health information for personal gain,” Bogden said. “If you are employed in the medical or health profession and know of persons who are participating in this sort of criminal conduct, please report it to the FBI.”

Charette was indicted following an FBI probe that was launched in response to a Las Vegas Sun investigation that exposed the privacy breach at UMC.

Between January and Nov. 19, 2009, Charette conspired with the manager of the trauma resuscitation department at UMC and with others to illegally disclose patient record information for personal gain.

Charette received face sheets from the manager, via facsimile transmission, on at least 55 occasions. Charette then used the information to solicit patients for legal and medical referrals. Charette paid the manager for each patient who retained a personal injury attorney or chiropractor with whom Charette was affiliated, for roughly $9,200 total.

The investigation is continuing and is being conducted by the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Crane Pomerantz and Sarah Griswold.

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