Trio accused of stealing personal info from hospital patients


Authorities at the district attorney's office say the victims included cancer patients, as well as those waiting to receive life-organ transplants. Meanwhile, the stolen money was used to buy luxury items such as designer clothes and even a BMW convertible.

It was at Methodist Hospital in the Houston Medical Center where the Harris County District Attorney says Shantel Moore worked as a secretary and had access to the personal information of patients like 71-year-old Don Baughman -- information authorities say Moore stole and used to get cash.

"I think they're the scum of the earth and the sorriest type of people to prey on innocent victims," Baughman said.

Baughman was a patient there last year undergoing a heart valve replacement.

"They took out at least one Internet loan," he said.

According to the DA's office, Moore was in cahoots with at least two other people to steal personal information that ultimately led to them gaining thousands of dollars in cash.

"They would get money by using patients' name, date of birth and Social Security number. They would put that in an application for credit and they would get the money, and the application for credit," explained prosecutor Ed McClees. "The person left holding the bag is the bank and the victim."

Up to $100,000 in cash was stolen from at least five victims, say authorities. All victims had one thing in common -- they were cancer or transplant patients at Methodist Hospital.

Methodist officials would not say if they have changed procedures to access personal information. Instead they issued a statement saying they deeply regret the incident and are working with law enforcement.

Don Baughman says he's learned a lesson.

"I guess I considered myself lucky until I found out this was going on and I was involved," he said.

Moore has been arrested. Her bail has been set at $208,000. Also charged in this case are Antoine Ladon Williams, 28, and Patrick James Reed, 38. All three all charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. If found guilty, they could face up to life in prison as punishment.

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