Flowers Hospital ID theft suspect pleads guilty

A Headland man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to his role in an aggravated identity theft scheme, which according to federal authorities left over 700 people with their identities stolen.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Clark Morris said 29-year-old Kamarian D. Millender pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of aggravated identity theft. She said Millender faces a statutory sentence of two years in federal prison at sentencing, which will be held at a later undetermined date.

According to court records, Millender worked as a lab technician at a medical facility in Dothan, which Morris confirmed was Flowers Hospital.

According to a U.S. Attorney’s Office statement and court records, Millender along with other people stole patient medical records, which included personal identification information. Millender used this information to file false tax returns in an attempt to obtain fraudulent tax refunds from the IRS.

Records show he pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme, which took place between January 2013 and February of 2014.

Morris confirmed over 700 identities were stolen from Flowers Hospital as part of the identity theft scheme.

Records show Millender specifically either filed or helped others file approximately 99 false federal tax returns in 2012, claiming $437,113 in refunds, and approximately 25 false federal tax returns in 2013, claiming $98,915.

The statement also said Millender’s actions led to the victimization of approximately 73 people and sought to defraud the IRS out of approximately $536,028.

The IRS was successfully able to stop the vast majority of the falsely claimed refunds. But an estimated $18,915 in refunds were issued as part of the scheme.

Court records show Millender also pleaded guilty to stealing, and allowing others to steal, patient medical records, which included personal information such as their Social Security numbers from his employer.

Records also show Millender pleaded guilty to the electronic filing of a fraudulent federal income tax return in the name “T.B.” claiming a refund in the amount of $8,217 on Feb. 12. Records show the person known as “T.B.” was a patient at the same Dothan medical facility where Millender worked in 2013.

Millender also pleaded guilty to using the Social Security number and name belonging to the person known as “T.B.” as part of the scheme.

The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS, specifically agents with the Criminal Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Morris said the investigation remains ongoing.

Dothan lawyers Dustin Fowler and Stephen Etheredge represented Millender in court.

A class action lawsuit has also been filed in federal court, which names Millender as a former employee of Flowers Hospital who allegedly stole patient medical files.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in May claimed Millender and an unknown accomplice stole the personal identification information, along with personal health information, for multiple people.

Flowers Hospital sent out letters on April 15 to possible victims of the information theft, warning them of the situation. According to the letter, back in February, the hospital discovered an employee in a lab took lab forms containing patients’ personal identification. According to the letter, the employee was fired.

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