Man sentenced in hospital records theft

By By , News Editor

By Michael McFall, News Editor

A judge sentenced the last of two men who stole University Hospital’s electronic medical records.

Last week, 3rd District Judge Ann Boyden sentenced Thomas Howard Anderson, who was charged earlier this year with the theft of 1.5 million patient records from a courier who was transporting them from the U Hospital to an off-site vault. Anderson will spend 60 days in jail. He will also be fined and placed on probation when he’s released.

Anderson, 53, and Shadd D. Hartman, 38, were accused of being involved in the same felony-level theft in June 2008. But when their days in court came, it was clear one man was walking prettier than the other.

Guards escorted an unshaven Hartman in to hear his crimes in shackles and a jail jumpsuit, and Anderson, his hair slicked back and his two-piece suit pressed, strolled in and out like a free man.

Hartman is serving a full year in jail.

Attorneys could not be reached as to whether Anderson telling police that Hartman stole the records played any role in his lighter sentence.

Anderson called the Salt Lake City Police Department about the missing patient records soon after law enforcement publicized a bounty for their safe return. He and Hartman stole the secure metal briefcase holding the records under the false assumption it contained movies. They had no idea it was actually 1.5 million Social Security numbers, medical histories and billing information records.

Anderson offered to return the records for the reward without Hartman’s knowledge. Hartman was already in jail for another crime. Police then arrested Anderson and charged both men.

The U spent $500,000 notifying patients that their personal identification could become compromised because of the theft. Police say neither man had any ability or opportunity to access the records inside.

Police also suspect two other men helped Anderson and Hartman break into the courier car the night of June 2, 2008. But there isn’t enough evidence to pursue charges against them, said Lt. Don Hutson of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Police have not disclosed whether Anderson will receive the reward.

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The Associated Press

contributed to this article.