Lufkin woman gets 5 years probation for HIPAA violations

Joneshia Cranford (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Joneshia Cranford (Source: Angelina County Jail)

BEAUMONT, TX (KTRE) - A judge with the U.S. District Court's Eastern District of Texas sentenced a 33-year-old Lufkin woman to five years of probation for stealing protected health information like patient names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers while she was working for an area health care provider.

As part of her sentence, Joneshia Cranford will be required to serve a 60-day jail term "to be served intermittently on weekends." She is also banned from owning a firearm "or any other destructive device' and will have to do 200 hours of community service.

Cranford pleaded guilty to wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information in the U.S. District Court on July 20, 2012.

According to information presented in court, in the period from 2005 to 2008, Cranford, an employee of a Lufkin area health care provider, stole protected information, including patients' names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, Medicare numbers, and Medicaid numbers to Shavator Albro and Francis "Frank" Ibiok, both of Houston. A press release stated that Cranford's actions were a criminal violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The case was investigated by the US Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector and the Texas Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

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