MANHATTAN, NY — A former receptionist at a Manhattan dental office was sentenced to at least two years in prison on Tuesday for stealing the personal data of hundreds of patients at the dental office where she worked and using it to buy Apple products, prosecutors said.
Annie Vuong, 31, was an integral part of an identity theft ring that began stealing information like names, birthdays, address and social security numbers from patients at Vuong’s Manhattan dental office, district attorney Cy Vance said. Vuong would send the stolen data to Devin Bazile, a former Apple store employee, who would use the information to purchase instant credit offered by Apple.
Between May and November 2012, Vuong copied the data of at least 653 patients and shared it with Bazile, prosecutors said.
In total, Vuong, Bazile and two other co-defendants purchased more than $700,000 in Apple products using the fraudulent credit, according to authorities.
“Annie Vuong exploited her access to confidential patient information to commit large-scale identity theft against hundreds of unsuspecting victims, as a jury found in this 189-count conviction,” Vance said in a statement. “Her role as the source of stolen information set this entire scheme into motion, enabling her co-defendants to rack up more than $700,000 in fraudulent purchases.”
The group was indicted in February 2015 after more than two years of investigation by Vance’s office.
In March, Vuong was found guilty of 189 charges, including grand larceny and identify theft. She was sentenced to serve between two and six years in state prison.
Vuong’s three co-defendants have already been sentenced. Baile, 33, was sentenced to serve between three and nine years in prison.
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A receptionist at a Manhattan dental office stole confidential information from hundreds of patients and teamed up with a former Apple employee to open fraudulent credit lines and buy hundreds of thousands in Apple gift cards, authorities said.
Annie Vuong, 27, allegedly copied the confidential records of over 250 patients, including their dates of birth, addresses and Social Security numbers and emailed the pilfered data to her cohort, former Apple salesman Devin Bazile, 30, court records show.
Bazile used the patients’ information to apply online for instant Apple credit lines ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 with an accomplice, Sharniqkwa Dukes, authorities alleged.
They received bar codes via email that could be used like a credit cards.
Bazile and another accomplice, Joshua Haughton, allegedly recruited crooked Apple employees in Manhattan, White Plains and New Jersey, authorities said.
They’d email the bar codes to Apple salesmen, including Ahmeen Evans, 26, to buy the gift cards so as not to arouse suspicion, court papers say.
The cybercrime ring allegedly bought $700,000 worth of Apple products with the fraudulent gift cards, according to the indictment.
The four were indicted on 394 counts of grand larceny, identity theft and other raps for the scam that ran from May to November 2012, court records show.
They pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. Justice Melissa Jackson set bail at $750,000 for the ringleader, Bazile.
Vuong, her attorney said in court, is currently working for American Express.
“Using stolen information to purchase Apple products is one of the most common schemes employed by cybercrime and identity theft rings today,” said District Attorney Cy Vance. “We see in case after case how all it takes is single insider at a company – in this instance, allegedly, a receptionist in a dentists’ office – to set an identity theft ring in motion, which then tries to monetize the stolen information by purchasing Apple goods for resale or personal use.”
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