Prosecutor: Georgia man uses HIPAA complaint to plot revenge on former lover
Jeffery Parker was apparently so heartbroken over his ex that he decided to take a bizarre form of revenge, according to federal court documents.
According to court documents, the Georgia man, angered over his failed relationship, falsely accused his former lover – an employee at a Savannah hospital – of violating patient privacy.
Parker now faces up to five years in prison.
Prosecutor calls false HIPAA Complaint an “intricate scheme”
The United States Department of Justice called Parker’s actions an “Intricate Scheme,” claiming in court documents that the 43-year-old filed a fake complaint against his former lover, who was not named. The Savannah hospital where the alleged Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations occurred was also not identified.
According to the government, Parker sought revenge by inventing a story about how his former partner, a hospital employee, shared graphic, bloody images of hospital patients being treated for gunshot wounds.
Fake HIPAA Complaint includes gory images
The gory images, participating employees and hospital location were all allegedly fabricated by Parker.
Parker apparently created fake email accounts and populated them with graphic bloody images claimed to be taken in the hospital. He attributed the images to his ex and used the fake email addresses to make it appear there was a history of sharing images in blatant violation of the HIPAA privacy rule.
It is illegal to share protected health information (PHI) with unauthorized parties.
HIPAA Complaint includes fake email accounts
What’s more, Parker’s fake email accounts were made in the names of real people in an apparent effort to take the scheme to a whole new level of believability.
According to a local television news affiliate, Parker initially reached out to the media with the fake story and falsified email evidence. He then agreed to be interviewed, describing himself as a “whistleblower” who was simply trying to right a terrible and illegal practice at the hospital.
This case marks a sad HIPAA milestone. The case is apparently the first falsified HIPAA complaint reported to damage another person’s reputation. It speaks to the fact that HIPAA is becoming more well-known outside the walls of medical practice and the legal industry.
How would you handle a false HIPAA complaint
What would you do if someone in your organization falsely accused your employees of a HIPAA violation? How would you investigate? If you don’t have answers and a clear path, we can help.
HIPAA expert and The HIPAA E-Tool® founder Paul R. Hales, told Healthcare Info Security that Parker could potentially face more charges if the images he used to fabricate his story were in, and of themselves, PHI.