Medi-Cal Eligibility Worker Charged with Posession of Stolen Client Information

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-1167 or (415) 740-5134
Omid Talai, DA Gascón’s Office, (415) 553-9272

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that criminal charges have been filed in connection with the theft of confidential information from the San Francisco Human Services Agency (“HSA”). More than 3,000 applicants for and recipients of Medi-Cal had their confidential information stolen.

Shawn Williams has been charged with four felony counts of withholding and concealing stolen property (Penal Code Section 496(a)) and two misdemeanor counts of possessing confidential information of people who have applied for or received Medi-Cal benefits (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 14100.2(h)).

“In an era of prolific identity theft, the protection of people’s personal information, including their names, addresses, dates of birth and social security numbers, is of paramount importance,” said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón.

According to court documents, Williams was employed by the HSA Medi-Cal program as an Eligibility Worker. As such, Williams had access to confidential personal information of Medi-Cal applicants and recipients. Court documents state that during her employment, Williams obtained more than 3,000 names and social security numbers of Medi-Cal applicants and/or recipients by (1) sending emails from her work computer to her personal computer containing confidential Medi-Cal applicant information, and (2) printing out and taking home, confidential Medi-Cal applicant information.

The HSA conducted an investigation into the breach of confidential information including notification to each person listed in the stolen documents. No fraudulent activity has been reported related to the theft of confidential information.

Williams was arraigned in Department 9 before the Honorable Judge Feng. She was released on her own recognizance with certain conditions she must abide by. Williams next court date is January 31, 9am, Dept 9. Michael Sullivan is the Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the case.