A state appellate court panel upheld a man’s second-degree burglary conviction for stealing two laptop computers and flash drives containing information on about 700,000 patients from an Alhambra medical center.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in Christopher Lee Brown’s trial.
Brown was convicted in March 2014 of two counts of second-degree commercial burglary and one count of receiving stolen property.
Brown had two flash drives that were taken from AHMC Healthcare, along with another flash drive not related to the facility, when he was arrested following the first burglary in October 2013.
Brown acknowledged he had been at the location, but denied taking any laptop computers and claimed he found the flash drives on the ground, according to the appellate panel’s 14-page ruling.
The medical facility mailed letters to the patients impacted by the breach and had to provide identity theft monitoring services for a number of the patients, according to the ruling.
He was subsequently arrested again after showing up at the facility in December 2013 and pushing a wheeled office desk chair and other items from an area on the first floor where salvaged equipment was stored by the county of Los Angeles.
Hours after being sentenced to four years and eight months behind bars, Brown posed as another inmate and walked out of a downtown Los Angeles jail facility in March 2014. He was re-captured about three weeks later in Santa Monica and eventually pleaded no contest to an escape charge that resulted in another eight months behind bars for him. Brown has not filed an appeal in that case.
— City News Service