A former employee at Parkland Hospital in Dallas appeared in federal court yesterday and pleaded guilty, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver, to a federal felony offense stemming from his theft of patient information from the hospital, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña.
Viju Mathew, 49, of Garland, Texas, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents, authentication features and information (identity theft). He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. He will remain on bond pending sentencing before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle.
According to plea documents filed in the case, as a registration specialist at Parkland Hospital, Mathew entered patient information into Parkland’s computer system. Mathew used his position to obtain confidential patient information, including patients’ names, telephone numbers, dates of birth, participation in the Medicare program, and government-issued health insurance claim numbers.
Mathew admitted that he knowingly removed the confidential information intending to use it to gain an economic benefit by contacting prospective patients for his home health care business.
The FBI, Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Portugal is in charge of the prosecution.
SOURCE: U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas