Friday, December 18, 2015

Former heart clinic employee admits to illegally disclosing patient’s medical records

Ebony Shonte Echols was not happy with a patient — a commercial airline pilot — who complained about the heart clinic where she worked.

So she sent his health information to the Federal Aviation Administration against his wishes, federal authorities said.

Echols, 35, a former employee of State of the Heart Cardiology in Grapevine, agreed last week to plead guilty in the case, court records show. A federal judge has to formally approve the plea deal before it is official.

She was indicted in January on one count of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information and three counts of making false statements, for lying to the FBI.

Echols got into an argument in February 2014 with the pilot, who was being treated at the clinic for a physical fitness exam required by the Federal Aviation Administration. He was not identified in federal court documents.

Afterward, she told the man he was “terminated as a patient of the clinic” and that she was going to send his medical records to the Federal Aviation Administration, court records show. The pilot told her not to. She did so “with the intent to cause malicious harm,” the indictment said.

Echols has a criminal record, according to Dallas County records.

She received deferred adjudication in 2014 for fraud she committed while working for a podiatrist in Irving. In that case, Echols used a patient’s banking and personal information to pay her rent in 2011, court records show.

Also last year, she was convicted of insurance fraud, according to records.

She was convicted in 2003 of failing to identify a fugitive.

And Echols had three check by theft cases, in 2001, 2010 and 2011, records show.


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