U.S. District Judge Ricardo Martinez in Seattle sentenced a man who stole the identities of 307-bed Virginia Mason Medical Center patients to serve more than six years in prison and to pay $120,000 in restitution, the U.S. Attorney in Seattle announced last week. Martinez also sentenced James Leroy Henderson, 62, to five years of supervised release after he leaves prison. Henderson, who pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and bank fraud, admitted to obtaining the patient information from others who stole it from Virginia Mason medical records at night. He confessed to creating false identification documents for the victims and then used those to drain their bank accounts over a one-year period from 2005 to 2006. A bank teller caught him making a withdrawal and alerted police, who arrested him. Henderson has prior convictions for bank robbery, armed robbery and burglary.
"We were pleased federal and local law enforcement agencies were successful in the prosecution of this case," said Patti Crome, a senior vice president and clinic administrator at Virginia Mason. Virginia Mason cooperated with federal authorities in the investigation and contacted all known patients whose identities may have been illegally accessed. In a 2006 news release, hospital officials said secure systems are in place. This was a crime and an unlawful breach of our patient identification, Crome said at the time.