A rental car purchase set off the investigation

Woman used stolen patient information to rent a car, cops say

A former clinic employee is accused of stealing patients’ information and using one of the victims’ identity to rent a car, Atlanta police said. 

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Police are searching for Cynthia Howard, 43, who faces seven counts of felony financial identity fraud, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

The Gwinnett County woman is thought to have stolen medical records of 10 patients of Atlanta Asthma and Allergy, where she worked, police said. 

Authorities were informed about the theft in June after the car rental company alerted Howard’s employer about the stolen documents found in the backseat of the rental car, Channel 2 reported. 

Howard was hired as a short-term employee at the clinic in February, Channel 2 reported. Her position was not specified. 

She was fired in May after the thefts, according to the news station. The company notified patients of the thefts in a letter. 

The company told Channel 2 it performed a background check on Howard, but there weren’t any red flags. 

“It depends on what type of background check that they do. If they do a public records search, it's not as thorough as law enforcement databases,” employment security expert Jeff Bohling told Channel 2. “I would say 60 percent of people probably use public record searches and 40 percent use law enforcement data.” 

It is not known if the clinic did a public records search. 

Victims are asked to contact the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. 

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