ID thieving Albany Med nurse sentenced
ALBANY The woman at the center of a scheme to take the identities of patients at Albany Medical Center was sentenced this morning to a total of 4 to 12 years in state prison.
Albany County Court Judge Stephen Herrick imposed the sentence, noting defendant Suzette Guzman-Moore cooperated with authorities after her arrest.
But the judge also noted that her conduct was lengthy and damaging, calling Guzman-Moore's actions "very disturbing."
Herrick noted the involvement of Guzman-Moore's boyfriend Emmett Woods, but said the scheme couldn't have happened without Guzman-Moore.
"In this case, you're the one that acted as the point person at your place of employment," Herrick told Guzman-Moore. "You're the one who breached the trust of those people in your care."
That breach went on for a long period of time, the judge said, "and it was used to your advantage and Mr. Woods'."
Guzman-Moore was emotional in her own comments.
"I apologize to the victims of my crimes," Guzman-Moore said. "I truly regret my part in all of this. As time goes on, I hope to regain the trust that I have so egregiously violated."
Guzman-Moore and Woods used the information to set up credit card accounts in patients' names and then using those cards to buy gift cards. The gift cards were then converted to cash.
Guzman-Moore procured the identity information from her job at the hospital, writing down social security numbers and names of patients at work.
Authorities said they found lists with information from more than 100 patients. The couple used information from about 60 to apply for credit cards.
Restitution was set at just over $2,000, a number that reflects the actual losses to credit card companies. A previous figure provided at Woods' sentencing was incorrect, officials said. Both Woods and Guzman-Moore are responsible for that figure.
Guzman-Moore began work at Albany Medical Center in 2010, hospital officials said. She was also working her way through further schooling to be a registered nurse, sheriff's officials said.
Investigators also checked other places where Guzman-Moore went on rotations through school. She did not rotate through Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, officials said.
The scheme began to unravel in April, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple has said. That's when a woman reported that someone had used her information, including Social Security number, to open credit card accounts and make purchases. The woman also told investigators that the only place she had given out her social security number was Albany Medical Center, Apple said. She had had a minor examination there.
The investigation soon kicked into high gear as they received information about Woods, Apple said, putting Woods under surveillance. They soon found out he had a girlfriend living with him who worked at Albany Medical Center.
The two then used the information to apply for and open credit cards, Apple said. Woods and Guzman-Moore then allegedly had those cards mailed to residences that they were familiar with.
Authorities have said the case highlighted the importance of regularly checking credit reports, bank statements and other documents.