By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Chester County couple has been charged with buying stolen hospital patient information to commit tax fraud.
Federal prosecutor Kevin Brenner alleges defendants Rafael Polanco and his wife Yanira Lopez used stolen identities to file for over $1.7-million in fraudulent tax refunds and collecting over $250,000 in refunds.
“They obtained the stolen identities primarily by paying employees of local hospitals to steal confidential medical forms. The hospitals involved were Community Hospital in Chester and Crozer Chester Medical Center in Upland,” Brenner said.
Both are part of Crozer Keystone Health System and a spokesman says two employees, described only as non-professional employees of the hospitals, have been terminated. He says procedures for handling and disposal of documents containing patient information have been modified.
The hospital employees are not charged in this case.
Polanco’s attorney says he expects the case to be resolved with a guilty plea. Lopez’s attorney could not be reached for comment.