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Nigerian nurses stole identities of thousands of hospital patients in Va.

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On Friday, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen sentenced Emmanuel Effiong, 36, to 81 months in prison after he, and co-defendant Festus Ighalo, 36, stole the Social Security numbers and other personal information from thousands of patients at Virginia Beach General Hospital, in order to apply for fraudulent tax refunds in their names.

Effiong and Ighalo recently pleaded guilty to several charges, including conspiracy to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft, stemming from the massive scheme.

In a statement, the U.S. District Attorney's Office said:

Effiong and Ighalo, used their positions there to obtain Personally Identifiable Information (PII), such as dates of birth and social security numbers, from thousands of patients mostly located in the Tidewater area.

Both Nigerian immigrants, Effiong and Ighalo used a network of scam artists in both the U.S. and Nigeria to process the information and to cash refund checks from the Internal Revenue Service, according to court documents.

ABC News reported:

...the pair allegedly accessed patient records and, along with other unnamed accomplices, filed false income tax returns in order to get refunds totaling approximately $400,000. The group reportedly received more than $116,000 before they were caught.

Ighalo is scheduled to be sentenced on January 24.

Related articles:

Illegal alien stole U.S. Marine's identity, ran up huge debts

Document mill discovered in Wisconsin, illegal aliens arrested

Another document mill uncovered in Va.

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