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South Carolina HHS data breach update: Indictments dealt

By Patrick Ouellette

- There is new information being reported about one of the early large healthcare data breaches in 2012 that occurred last spring within South Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS).

About 228,000 patient files were compromised after former Medicaid employee Christopher Lykes illegally transferred 17 Excel spreadsheets with Social Security numbers and other personal information to his personal Yahoo account. Now, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says, according to scag.gov, that the employee and a second person, Toshia Yvette Latimer-Addison, have been indicted on four counts of willful examination of private records by a public employee. Lykes faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted and Latimer-Addison faces up to five years.

The indictments allege Lykes, while a public employee of SCDHHS, willfully examined, or aided and abetted in the willful examination of, confidential records for an improper or unlawful purpose.  Latimer-Addison is accused of conspiring with Lykes in that effort.
The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

Lykes and Latimer-Addison’s indictments should serve as a proverbial shot across the bow for anyone considering taking part in patient data theft.

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