February 12, 2016

Western Nebraska hospital alerts patients of possible ID theft

Community Hospital

Community Hospital

A western Nebraska hospital has informed more than 4,000 former patients their personal information might have been stolen.

Community Hospital in McCook reports a laptop containing sensitive information has been stolen from an employee of the hospital auditing company in Nashville, TN. The hospital says the company, Seim (seyeme) Johnson of Omaha, has not been able to confirm that the encryption software on the laptop was functioning.

An official at Community Hospital does say there is no indication any information has been actually accessed or viewed. Still, the former patients affected have been given a free year of identity monitoring.

MoneyGram reaches $13M settlement with Nebraska, other states

MoneyGram has agreed to pay $13 million to fund a nationwide consumer restitution program to resolve a nationwide dispute.

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson has announced MoneyGram Payment Systems of Dallas has reached a settlement with it and 48 other states, plus the District of Columbia. MoneyGram customers who filed complaints about fraud induced transfers with MoneyGram between July first of 2008 and August 31st of 2009 generally will be eligible for restitution. Money had been wired to third parties operating fraud schemes.

Former Scottsbluff man agrees to return $92K in fraudulent disability payments

A former Scottsbluff man has been sentenced to three months of home confinement for theft of government funds and ordered to make restitution of just over $92,000.

U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg says 42-year-old Frank Sanchez, Jr. admitted to receiving a disability annuity even though he continued to work for Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

Federal prosecutors say Sanchez received a Railroad Retirement Disability Annuity in 2007 for numerous medical conditions. Sanchez had completed a “Continuing Disability Report” at the request of the Railroad Retirement Board in 2009 stating he had not returned to work. He made a similar statement in 2012, even though he had gone back to work at BNSF in August of 2009.

Prosecutors say Sanchez admitted to investigators what he had done and demonstrated a willingness to make restitution. The disability annuity was officially discontinued in August of 2009. It was determined Sanchez fraudulently received $92,064.00 from the disability annuity.

Former Miami tax preparer sentenced for tax fraud in Omaha

A former tax preparer from Miami has been sentenced in Omaha to a year and a day in federal prison and pay nearly $300,000 in restitution for tax fraud.

Nebraska U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg says a federal jury in May of last year convicted 44-year-old Adam Mwanza of 13 counts of tax fraud for assisting to prepare false tax returns.

According to federal prosecutors, Mwanza filed false tax returns primarily for immigrants between 2007 and 2008, falsely claiming rental deductions so they would receive larger tax refunds.

“Today’s sentence demonstrates the importance of selecting a reputable tax preparer,” Karl Stiften, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge of the St. Louis Field Office said in a written statement. “Ultimately, the taxpayer is responsible for the accuracy of their return, not the preparer. Don’t be tempted by a refund that is too good to be true.”

Murder case against Anthony Garcia moves forward

The case against an accused Omaha serial killer Anthony Garcia is moving forward. On Wednesday, attorney’s debated what evidence should be included in his trial.

Garcia’s attorney asked a judge to exclude all graphic photos from the crime scene as well as results of the victim’s autopsies due to concern that could inflame a jury. Garcia’s defense team also asking that all notes and papers removed from Garcia’s home be excluded from the trial.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine says that the crime scene photographs are relevant to the case. Judge Duane Doughtery has taken the motions under advisement.

Garcia is accused of killing Thomas Hunter and Shirlee Sherman in 2008 and Dr. Roger Brumback and his wife Mary Brumback in 2013.   All four victims had ties to Creighton University, Garcia’s former employer.  Prosecutors say the murders were revenge for his firing from the Pathology Department.