Feds Nail Two At Palmetto General For Stealing Patients' Identities

What's worse than having to go to the hospital? How about spending days in the hospital recovering from surgery or serious illness, finally going home, and then realizing that some jackass in the ER stole your identity?

That's exactly what happened to close to 50 patients at Palmetto General in Hialeah, according to federal prosecutors.

Two Palmetto General employees -- Jacquettia L. Brown, 29, and (the awesomely named) Tear Renee Barbary, 25 -- were charged this week with stealing patient records to further a credit card scheme.

Brown worked in Palmetto's medical records department. She stole files with patients' names, social security numbers, addresses and family contacts, then passed the information to Barbary, who opened false credit cards in the patients' names. Cops caught Brown with 41 records and Barbary with six more.

Neither Brown nor Barbary has entered a plea yet.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink