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Immoral Opportunists

access management
Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Look in the dictionary for the definition of “immoral opportunists” and Matthew Lombardo’s name will be right there. On July 22, 2023, Lombardo was sentenced in federal court to thirty-six months in prison for using his position as a clerk at a local hospital to steal patient identifying information. He then passed the information on to others in an attempt to steal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits.

Lombardo worked at a hospital as a Patient Service Representative where he had access to patient admission sheets, which included patient identifying information such as the names, dates of birth, addresses, Social Security numbers. Data necessary for hospitals to bill insurance for payment. It is also the same information necessary to commit fraud. Which is what Lombardo and his co-conspirators did, filing unemployment claims with the stolen PII of about 50 patients.  

What sets this case apart from other pandemic-related fraud cases is the callous nature of Lombardo’s actions. Deeply troubling text messages between Lombardo and his co-defendants reveal their deliberate targeting of vulnerable patients. Or as they described “the closer to dead the better”. Specific attention was given to patients who were “55 or younger who are on their way out” or “with a couple of days left.” The bed-ridden and incapacitated were the desired victims as they were unlikely to notice Lombardo stealing their identity. Lombardo grabbed PII from patients who were dying and forwarded the information to his accomplices who would then file fraudulent Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims. Accomplices who felt that there was enough time to file fraudulent claims before family members noticed.

Great job by the San Diego County Sheriff deputies who discovered this scheme after pulling over one of the co-conspirators for driving without a license plate.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Hospital Worker Swaps Scrubs for Prison Stripes After Swindles Millions in Pandemic Relief” published by Hoodline on July 22, 2023

As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the lives of countless individuals, it also exposed some immoral opportunists. Matthew Lombardo, a 54-year-old former Scripps Health employee, received a three-year prison sentence for his role in a pandemic unemployment insurance fraud case per the Southern District of California. Following the completion of his sentence, Lombardo will be on supervised release for three years and must pay restitution.

Staff at a Scripps hospital in Chula Vista care for Covid patients. Nonprofit Scripps has been hit not only by an alleged insider identity theft this year, in which the defendant is accused of stealing the data of the dying, but by ransomware, too. 

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