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Home  |  News  |  SLED arrests DHHS employee in connection with data breach

SLED arrests DHHS employee in connection with data breach
Thursday, April 19, 2012

 
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The personal information of more than 228,000 Medicaid recipients in South Carolina has been stolen by a former state Department of Health and Human Services employee, according to DHHS and the State Law Enforcement Division.

SLED says 36-year-old Christopher Lykes was able to make off with 228,435 Medicaid recipients' personal information by emailing the information to his personal Yahoo email account.

The information contained names, addresses, and Social Security numbers -- information the employee had access to and the agency trusted him with.

Most of the people impacted by the security breach live in Richland, Lexington, Barnwell, Orangeburg, Allendale, and Bamberg counties.

Lykes has been charged with five counts of Medically Indigent Act Confidentiality violations and one count of disclosure of confidential information.

DHHS Director Tony Keck says it started in January and ended three weeks ago. They found out about the scheme after conducting employee performance reviews.

"The information was not readily available, but it was available to him through a normal reporting process and that's where we've identified a security lapse that the department was not sufficiently requiring employees to justify their need for that information," Keck said. "That is fairly easy lapse to close and we've done that."

Keck says he called the employee in on April 10 and fired him, then turned the information over to SLED.

SLED has the employee's home computer and is working to track down where the information went and hopefully why this employee wanted it in the first place.

The employee has not been arrested yet and investigators say they have information that one other person may be involved.

Source: http://www.wistv.com/story/17583606/dhhs-employee-stole-personal-information-of-228435-sc-medicaid-beneficiaries

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