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Published On: Mar 10 2015 02:28:03 PM EDT by Local  4 - ClickOnDetroit News Staff Updated On: Mar 10 2015 05:23:26 PM EDT

 DETROIT - Eleven people are facing federal charges for allegedly stealing and fraudulently using the personal information of Blue Cross Blue Shield subscribers.

According to the indictment released Tuesday, Angela Patton, who worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), printed screenshots containing subscribers’ profiles, including personal identifying information, and gave them to other individuals who used the information to apply for credit in other people’s names and purchase merchandise in stores across the country.

Authorities said co-conspirators arrested in Texas, Ohio and Michigan were in possession of BCBSM screenshots coming from Patton’s work computer as well as counterfeit identification cards and credit cards in the names of individual subscribers whose personal information was included in the screenshots.

Agents executing search warrants at suspects' homes in metro Detroit recovered additional screenshots that included personal information belonging to thousands of BCBSM and Blue Care Network subscribers.

The information included individuals’ names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. Counterfeit and re-encoded credit cards and gifts cards were also recovered.

The indictment alleges that three of the suspects who used counterfeit credit cards at different major stores and warehouses fraudulently obtained more than $742,000 worth of merchandise from Sam’s Club alone.

Named in the indictment (258286211-BCBS-ID-Theft-Indictment) were:

  • Angela Denise Patton, 47, of Belleville, Michigan
  • Sam Oscar Patton, 47, of Dearborn, Michigan
  • Dontez Patton, 23, of Woodhaven, Michigan
  • Johnathon Weston, 24, of Detroit
  • Charlie Smith, 47, of Detroit
  • Thomas Turner, Sr., 47, of Detroit
  • Aramona Coleman, 56, of Southfield, Michigan
  • Tynekwa Hill, 26, of Pontiac, Michigan
  • Jeffrey Morton, 41, of Oak Park, Michigan
  • Verdell Kennedy, 45, of Detroit
  • Raymond Thomas, 40, of Oak Park, Michigan

Corporate investigators from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan played an active role in a federal law enforcement investigation resulting in the arrests today of 11 individuals in southeastern Michigan for alleged identity theft.

 The arrested individuals possessed the personal information of 5,514 Blue Care Network and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members in printouts captured from the companies’ information systems. A former employee of BCBSM was among those arrested.

 “We are pleased that assistance provided by our company’s investigative team was used to secure the arrest of these individuals, including our former employee,” said Daniel J. Loepp, president and CEO of BCBSM. “I am personally saddened by this former employee’s involvement. Their alleged behavior in no way represents the ethical standards brought to work every day by our more than 7,000 employees, who are committed to serving our members with integrity and honesty.”

Affected members will be contacted by letter and offered two years of free credit protection services. To further protect their personal information, BCBSM recommends members carefully monitor their Explanation of Benefits statements and financial accounts for services they did not receive or any inappropriate or suspicious healthcare claims. In the event that they notice any inappropriate activity on their Explanation of Benefits statements, BCBSM and BCN ask members to contact the companies’ Anti-Fraud Hotline at 800-482-3787, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 “Blue Cross and BCN are committed to protecting our members’ personal information,” said Kevin Klobucar, CEO for Blue Care Network.  “We have taken a number of deliberate steps to further secure our members’ information from disclosure, including limiting access to members’ Social Security numbers, requiring all employees to change their passwords, and installing new printing devices that require employees to scan their coded badges to print.”

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