Tampa residents plead guilty to federal ID theft charges
Two Tampa residents pleaded guilty today to conspiring to defraud the federal government and wrongfully disclosing peoples' personal data, according to Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley III. Denetria Barnes, 24, and Jakiel Bazart, 28, face a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. According to court documents, in August 2012, Tampa police found stolen ID documents when they executed a search warrant. The documents were being used to file fraudulent tax returns. The documents led law enforcement to Barnes and Bazart, who had been selling patients' names dates of birth, and Social Security numbers, Bentley said.Working undercover, law enforcement bought HIPAA-protected records from both Bazart and Barnes. On April 3, Bazart offered to sell fifteen pages of means of identification for $1,500, adding that he had a "trash barrel" filled with patients' means of identification, Bentley said. On May 22, Barnes attempted to sell a spreadsheet containing approximately 400 stolen means of identification for $15,000, Bentley said. This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Tampa Police Department, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
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