A Staten Island woman and her fiance face a host of charges after they were arrested for allegedly stealing patient information and using it to open fraudulent bank accounts, and the pair allegedly wasn't shy about how they were spending the money. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
Prosecutors allege that Amanda Zieminski and Clyde Forteau were living large with stolen money.
"Amanda Zieminski was a licensed practical nurse at South Shore Physicians who supplied Clyde Forteau with patient information, which then he used to compromise patients' bank accounts, create credit accounts and debit card accounts in those people's names," said Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan.
Prosecutors say Zieminski, also known as "Meme Zee," and Forteau, also known as "C-Money CEO," began their scheme back in 2008, when Zieminski started working at the South Shore Physicians' office.
Investigators say the case was complicated by so much paperwork that it took several years to figure out what was going on.
A break came when detectives learned that TD Bank was investigating a pattern in which its customers had written checks to South Shore Physicians and had their information compromised and addresses changed to locations in the Bronx.
They discovered that Forteau and Zieminski went to school together, and found many of the fraudulent charges were traced to Forteau's home, also in the Bronx.
"There's eavesdropping, there was physical surveillance and the exploitation and analysis of digital multimedia," said NYPD Chief Phil Pulaski.
Pulaski said the couple's Facebook pages detailed how they spent the estimated $675,000 they stole. They spent thousands on vacations and sporting events.
Detectives recovered the jacket and hat Forteau was allegedly wearing in surveillance video, making withdrawals from illegal bank accounts.
Wiretapping revealed that he allegedly targeted some victims because of their age, leading to his being charged with grand larceny as a hate crime.
On more than one occasion, prosecutors say Forteau even posed as a Hurricane Sandy victim to explain to banks why he was requesting new bank cards be sent to a different address.
Three others were also arrested, and investigators expect more arrests to follow.