A man from Georgia is charged over a complex plan to frame up a friend for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that did not transpire.
Jeffrey Parker, 43 years old, from Richmond Hill, GA, claimed to be a whistleblower exposing the HIPAA violations committed by a nurse. He reported alleged violations at the hospital where he is employed, and also sent complaints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DoJ). In an interview by Fox28Media in October 2018, Parker told about the violation of HIPAA privacy laws by a nurse for a long time.
The nurse was employed at an unidentified hospital in Savannah, GA. A health system managed the hospital and other healthcare facilities located in Nashville, TN, and other locations. Allegedly, the nurse has been emailing photographs of patients that have traumatic injuries like gunshot wounds to people not associated with the hospital. Parker mentioned to Fox28Media that the sharing of photographs between hospital staff and other people was taking place for a long period.
Parker wanted to remain anonymous for fear of his personal security. He additionally claimed to receiving threats due to the HIPAA violations he reported.
Besides claiming that the nurse committed HIPAA violations, Parker created email accounts utilizing the names of real hospital staff. He used the email accounts for emailing more reports of HIPAA violations to the hospital, DOJ and FBI to make it look like other hospital staff were similarly reporting HIPAA violations.
The FBI responded immediately to the threats to his personal security and questioned Parker regarding the alleged offenses. An FBI agent identified disparity in Parker’s report and, upon more questioning, Parker confessed to making false claims and making the email addresses to reinforce his report. The Fox28Media news stated the nurse was Parker’s former lover.
U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine stated that making false accusations of criminal activity on other people is unlawful, and it makes the justice system staff pursue unnecessary investigations. The fake complaint resulted in a diversion of assets by federal detectives, and a needless distraction for a vital health care organization in the community.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia charged Parker with one count of false statements. Parker is about to face up to five years of jail term because of the crime.
Special Agent Chris Hacker, in charge of FBI Atlanta, said that hopefully, the quick discovery of this alleged plot by our investigators would send to people the message that these types of schemes will be uncovered, and justice will prevail.