Angeline Austin of Troy, Alabama worked for Southern Records Management. She was assigned by her employer to Troy Hospital. Ms. Austin felt the need for additional income. Unlike most of us who would actually obtain a second job, Ms. Austin made money the new-fashioned way: She committed a crime.
Ms. Austin’s work at Troy Hospital gave her access to patient records, including names, addresses, and social security numbers. She sold over 800 of those identities; they were subsequently used on tax returns claiming refunds, with the proceeds making their way to a co-conspirator. As the news story notes, “Austin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud the government regarding claims, one count of fraud in connection with identification documents, one count of fraud with computers and one count of aggravated identity theft.”
Unfortunately, identity theft leads to easy money for criminals. The IRS and other government agencies are being purely reactive at this point. Hopefully the IRS will consider some logical methods that would put a crimp in this growing crime.