OSC Announces Sentences and Guilty Pleas in Hospital Privacy Breach Case

TORONTO, June 1, 2016 /CNW/ - The OSC today announced that Nellie Acar, Esther Cruz, Polina (Poly) Edry and Subramanian Sulur entered guilty pleas to charges laid following an investigation by the OSC's Joint Serious Offences Team (JSOT) related to the misuse of confidential patient information from the Rouge Valley Health System and the Scarborough Hospital.

Acar pleaded guilty to one count of secret commissions contrary to s. 426(1)(a) of the Criminal Code and one count of using a forged document contrary to s. 368(1)(b) of the Criminal Code at ScarboroughOntario Court of Justice before Justice K. Doorly (Justice Doorly).

Cruz pleaded guilty to two counts of secret commissions contrary to s. 426(1)(a) of the Criminal Code at ScarboroughOntario Court of Justice before Justice Doorly.

Acar was formerly employed as a Global RESP Corporation sales representative. Esther Cruz was formerly employed as a registered nurse in the maternity departments of the Rouge Valley Health System and the Scarborough Hospital.

Acar acknowledged in court that between April 1, 2014 and June 30, 2014, she knowingly used a forged document as if it were genuine. In addition, she acknowledged that between January 1, 2012 and April 30, 2014, she corruptly gave Cruz a monetary reward not exceeding $5000 as consideration for providing patient information to Acar.

Cruz acknowledged in court that between January 1, 2012 and August 30, 2014, she corruptly accepted monetary rewards not exceeding $5000 for providing patient information to Acar in relation to her employment at the Rouge Valley Health System and the Scarborough Hospital.

Both individuals were sentenced to six-month conditional sentences, the first three months of which are house arrest. In addition, both accused were given two years' probation with conditions and are required to perform 340 hours of community service.

Edry and Sulur each pleaded guilty to one count of participating in an improper referral arrangement with another person or company contrary to National Instrument 31-103 Registration Requirements, Exemptions and Ongoing Registrant Obligations and contrary to s. 122(1) of the Securities Act (Ontario) at Old City Hall – Ontario Court of Justice before Justice M. McLeod.

Edry was formerly a Branch Manager for Knowledge First Financial Inc. and Sulur was formerly an Assistant Branch Manager for C.S.T. Consultants Inc. Both were registered dealers. 

Edry acknowledged in court that between January 1, 2012 and May 1, 2014, she purchased names from Shaida Bandali (a former employee of the Rouge Valley Health System), who she knew worked in a medical facility. The names were those of new parents of children that came from that medical facility. Edry also admitted that she was wilfully blind to the fact that not all of the patients had agreed to have their personal information shared. Edry admitted to paying Bandali $10,513.25 or approximately $2.50-2.75 per name. She purchased the names from Bandali to use as sources of potential Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) investment sales leads.

Edry is scheduled to appear for sentencing on August 23, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Old City Hall, 60 Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario.

Sentencing submissions for Sulur are scheduled for June 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Old City Hall, 60 Queen Street West in Toronto, Ontario.

JSOT was established by the OSC as an enforcement partnership between the OSC, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Financial Crime program and the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Branch. The primary objective of JSOT is to protect investors and further enhance confidence in the Canadian capital markets through effective enforcement. This is accomplished through collaborative investigations of serious violations of the law using the provisions of the Securities Act or the Criminal Code. 

The mandate of the OSC is to provide protection to investors from unfair, improper or fraudulent practices and to foster fair and efficient capital markets and confidence in the capital markets. Investors are urged to check the registration of any persons or company offering an investment opportunity and to review the OSC investor materials available at http://www.osc.gov.on.ca

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SOURCE Ontario Securities Commission

For further information: For Media Inquiries: media_inquiries@osc.gov.on.ca; For Investor Inquiries: OSC Contact Centre, 416-593-8314, 1-877-785-1555 (Toll Free)

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