A clerk employed at the Long Beach VA was allegedly found in possession of the identities and information belonging to over 1,000 patients of the facility leading to the arrest of the suspect.
On Thursday, on the property of the Tibor Rubin VA Medical Center, an employee of the facility was reportedly noticed operating a non-commercial vehicle with commercial license plates on the campus. On-site officers became suspicious when they recognized that the automobile had the wrong type of plate attached, and they ran a check leading them to perform a traffic stop when their search confirmed that the license plate was allegedly not registered to the vehicle to which it was affixed.
When an officer was speaking with the employee, a pill bottle without a label was allegedly seen which caused the officer to further inspect the inside of the vehicle. The personal information, including Social Security numbers, names, and dates of birth of 1,028 patients of the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Health Care System were allegedly found inside the employee’s vehicle. The officer also reported that over $1000 of federal property was also discovered during the search.
The driver was taken into custody on suspicion of identity theft, though the official charges against him have not yet been issued.
The unmarked pills in the vehicle were identified as gabapentin, an anticonvulsant drug typically prescribed to help control seizures, and has been effective in treating certain types of pain. The employee allegedly did not possess a prescription for the medication.
The information of the VA clients that was reportedly discovered in the vehicle has not been found to have been used fraudulently, but the Department of Veterans Affairs has decided to alert each person involved in the event and issue them a year’s worth of credit monitoring for them to help ensure that their personal details remain safe.
If you or someone you love is suspected of fraud, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.