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Tennessee man charged with cancer patient data breach

By Patrick Ouellette

- Mareco Bell of Cordova, Tenn. was arrested this week after being charged for among the more deplorable data breaches in recent memory. Bell stole more than 500 cancer patients’ identities and filed fraudulent tax returns with the data after gaining access because he did tax work (in an unknown capacity) for the affected patients.

According to, Bell ran a significant tax fraud ring from his Tennessee home that included state driver’s licenses, dozens of prepaid credit cards and 500 debit cards and PIN numbers with different names on each. Additionally, there were 10 different cancer patients’ medical documents.

Bell was arrested last week. “This is a major case of identity theft here,” said Chip Washington with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. “There will probably be some other individuals implicated in this crime with him that helped him ascertain and access this information,” said Washington. Judge Lee Coffee set bond at $20 million and the IRS, FBI, and Secret Service are also working this case.

Even if Bell was doing the patients’ taxes, how did he gain access to their medical records and identities? There isn’t much information on where Bell worked and why no one noticed he was stealing these identities in the first place. Because the FBI and IRS are working on this case and the bail was set at $20 million, we’ll surely be hearing more on the specifics of how this breach occurred.



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