Aventura Hospital and Medical Center reports data breach

Records show third data breach in past 2 years

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter

AVENTURA, Fla. - For the third time in two years, U.S. Health and Human Services records show Aventura Hospital and Medical Center has reported a data breach.

READ: State statute regarding data breach notification

The latest reported data breach involving the theft of personal information impacts 82,601 people. The breach date spans from Sept. 13, 2012 to June 9, 2014.

What is more, the start date the latest data breach is exactly one day after a former data breach ended that impacted 2,560 individuals.

There was also a report impacting 948 people from Oct. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2012. 

A company called Valesco Ventures sent a letter to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center patients about the most recent case of identify theft.

Valesco "provides hospital staffing and ancillary services" according to the letter dated Sept. 9, 2014.

According to Valesco manager Terry Meadows, M.D., the company was told last May "an employee may have improperly accessed the personal identifying information of a number of patients of Aventura Hospital." 

That information included names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers, but according to Valesco, "No personal financial or health information was improperly accessed."

One patient told Local 10 News reporter Christina Vazquez that someone filed a tax return using her Social Security number.

"There is no coincidence here," said Elaine Moniz. "This had to come from here."

The letter written by Meadows goes on to say "Valesco Ventures and Aventura Hospital are assisting law enforcement to identify and prosecute all responsible parties."

On Sept. 27, 2013, 26-year-old Felicidy Butler, of Miami, was charged in a three count indictment for her participation in an identity theft tax refund scheme resulting in more than $175,000 in disbursed tax refunds with an intended loss of over $440,000, the Justice Department said in a release.

According to the indictment, Butler fraudulently possessed 15 or more social security numbers of other people. The indictment also alleges Butler possessed the means of identification, specifically the names and dates of birth of two identity theft victims.

The indictment charged Butler with unauthorized possession of personal identification information and aggravated identity theft.

Local 10 News has contacted Aventura Hospital for comment. Local 10 is also working to get more information from Aventura police and HHS.

Read the letter from Meadows and see a snapshot of the records obtained from HHS here:

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