A former San Antonio nurse, who allegedly stole the social security numbers of patients and used that information to file for unemployment checks, is set to go before a federal judge this week.
Andrea Brooks worked at Methodist Specialty and Transplant hospital during most of 2012. According to court papers, obtained by 1200 WOAI news, she would steal the personal information of patients, used a work computer to log onto the Texas Workforce Commission website, make fake employer information and then choose the Debit Card option to receive benefit funds.
According to a court affidavit, she scammed the Texas Workforce Commission out of $265,494.
Brooks was caught when the TWC noticed 179 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims that came from one particular computer at the Hospital. Further investigation found 83 fraudulent claims from Brooks home computer, 152 fraudulent claims from her Sprint cell phone and 46 fraudulent claims from a phone that she had used in Puerto Rico while on her honeymoon.
TWC Spokesman Mark Lavergne says checks for this type of fraud are a high priority for the agency.
"Texas Workforce Commission regularly cross-matches unemployment insurance claims with databases to detect possible fraud," he tells 1200 WOAI news. "So that we can ensure that funds are available exclusively to those who meet the eligibility requirements.
The majority of the victims in this case were either patients who were organ donors or transplant recipients.
Brooks faces charges of mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.