Shmuck of the Week: ID thieves

Checking into a hospital is lots of fun. First there's the injury or illness that forced you to be there. Then there's the stress of not knowing what the outcome will be, the financial burden, and the difficulty of being away from friends, family or work. And finally, the pain-in-the-ass aspect of filling out all that paperwork. So, thank goodness for the hospital employees who protect these vulnerable patients by keeping their personal info safe.

Or not.

Dawn Philbin, a 51-year-old employee of St. Anthony Central Hospital, was arrested Monday and charged with stealing patient records and giving them to Paul Simmons, who has been charged with identity theft and forgery.

Philbin, of Lakewood, first told the hospital she'd been stealing the information because Simmons had threatened her daughter's life, according to a story in the Denver Post. Then she changed her story during an interview with a Channel 9 reporter, saying Simmons was a longtime family friend and that she felt like she owed him.

"It wasn't for money; it wasn't for drugs. It was out of guilt for him helping my family," she was quoted as saying. "I was sucked in."

She definitely sucked.

Philbin allegedly told the hospital that Simmons would tell her what types of patients she should target, according to 9 Wants to Know; then Philbin would print out their admission forms and driver's licenses - at a rate of about twenty patients per week.

The situation was discovered in January when copies of 139 patient records and other missing or stolen IDs and documents were found inside a storage unit.

For previous Shmucks, see our Shmuck of the Week archive.


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