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Former state HHS employee charged with identity theft; Hundreds may be impacted
From: Erica Absetz <eabsetz () opensecurityfoundation org>
Date: Tue, 8 Jan 2013 08:56:57 -0500


During the first week of the new year, the Titus County Sheriff’s
Office (TCSO) received multiple complaints from citizens regarding
identity theft.

During the investigation, the TCSO was led to a suspect named Selena
Patino, 38, who was identified as a former Texas Department of Health
and Human Service worker in Mount Pleasant.

Investigators determined that Patino assumed the identity of clients
receiving immunizations and other services at the Texas Department of
Health and Human Services on N. Jefferson in Mount Pleasant.

She used this client information and applied for credit cards online
and - once approved - made as many purchases as the credit card would

On Friday, January 4th, a search and arrest warrant was issued for
Patino and her residence located in the 4800 block of FM 1735. Some of
the property that Patino purchased with the credit cards was
recovered, along with stolen credit cards and immunization records.

Other documents with client names - or family members’ names - and
social security numbers were also found.

“The list of individuals that had their information stolen is still
growing and we believe it to be in the hundreds,” said Sheriff Tim
Ingram. “If you have used the services of the office of the Texas
Department of Health and Human Services in Mount Pleasant in the past
few months, you need to check your credit report.”

“We are going to contact the Texas Department of Health with a list of
clients that we know had their identity compromised,” said Ingram,
“and you should expect the Texas Department of Health to contact you.”

Patino has been charged with Fraudulent Use or Possession of
Identifying information, a 2nd Degree Felony, and Credit Card Abuse, a
State Jail Felony. An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the
second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice for any term of not more than 20 years
or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual
adjudged guilty may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Patino bonded out of the Titus County jail Saturday with a $25,000
bond on the Fraudulent Use charge and a $6,000 bond on the Credit Card
or Debit Card abuse charge.
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