ALBANY, N.Y. -- A nurse at Albany Medical Center and her boyfriend have been charged with stealing the identities of patients.
During the month long investigation, investigators learned that the pair had opened accounts in more than 50 different names. The investigation also revealed that Suzette Guzman-Moore was employed as a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Albany Medical Center and may have also done rotations at other health care facilities in the Capital District area.
Guzman-Moore was arrested Tuesday night at the hospital. An alert patient who said she was receiving calls from credit card companies is said to have notified police. Investigators said they have uncovered at least dozens of other victims.Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said the case began after a local woman alerted police.
“About six weeks ago, I got a call from an elderly woman in Bethlehem, and she indicated someone may have stolen her identity,” he said.
The woman told Apple she was always diligent about keeping her vital information private but added she had recently gone to a doctor at the Albany Med campus and she was asked to share her social security number.
Apple said an investigation led them to Guzman-Moore’s boyfriend, 25-year-old Emmett Woods.
Police said that after stealing the necessary demographic information from the unsuspecting victims, Guzman-Moore, 45, and Woods then applied for credit cards by using the stolen identities and then had the cards mailed to residences that they were familiar with within the Albany area. Once the account was approved and activated, the couple would then make purchases throughout the capital district using the stolen credit cards. There is no indication that any clinical information had been compromised.
Police searched Guzman-Moore’s apartment Wednesday night and found an assortment of hospital patients’ names, home addresses, social security numbers, credit cards, gift cards and laptops.
Woods and Guzman-Moore were both charged with felony Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, felony Criminal Possession Stolen Property, felony Identity Theft and felony Scheme to Defraud. They were arraigned in the City of Albany Court and remanded to the Albany County Correctional Facility without bail.
Apple claimed Guzman-Moore is the one who obtained the patient information while employed as a LPN at Albany Med. He said she did not “hack” into any computer system but rather wrote down the information during appointments.
An Albany Med spokesperson confirmed the incident and thanked the Albany County Sheriff’s office for their diligence, reminding everyone that protecting patient information is their top priority.
The sheriff said paperwork from the Albany County Coroner's Office, which included names and social security numbers were found inside the suspect's apartment.
The sheriff says 50 to 60 patient's names have been identified and the hospital is currently notifying them of the alleged identity theft. Investigators are asking the public to review their credit history for irregularities and should they believe their identity has been stolen as a result of a visit to a health care facility they should contact the Albany County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit tip line at 518-720-8075.
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