A Phoenix couple is in jail on suspicion of stealing credit card information obtained at a medical billing firm where one of them works, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.
Deputies said it's possible as many as 46,000 patients could be vulnerable to fraudulent charges, many of them from Scottsdale Dermatology Clinic.
Winfred Aurelious Dick Jr. and Brittany Davidson were arrested and booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on multiple counts of aggravated identity theft, computer tampering, fraudulent use of a credit card and fraud schemes.
"In a bizarre twist, we have a law enforcement official and a court involved in this investigation," said MCSO Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The investigation began in late September when Sheriff's Capt. Dave Letourneau noticed an erroneous charge on his credit card that was used to pay for someone else's traffic fine in Glendale City Court.
Sheriff's detectives determined that Davidson was stealing credit card information at her place of employment, Allsource Medical Management, a Glendale medical billing firm that services Scottsdale Dermatology Clinic and other medical practices.
During a jailhouse interview on Tuesday, Davidson said she used stolen credit card numbers to "make ends meet."
"Working 40 hours a week was not enough to feed my boyfriend's kids and myself," she said about her $11-an-hour job.
Sheriff's detectives served a search warrant on Dick's home, where both suspects reside. They said they found evidence linking Dick and Davidson to the captain's theft. Detectives also found methamphetamine in Dick's vehicle wrapped up in court paperwork.
Dick is an employee at the Amazon shipping department.
After the pair was arrested, Davidson admitted to stealing and using addresses and credit card numbers from patients of Scottsdale Dermatology and their associated offices elsewhere in the Valley, MCSO said.
Authorities determined that the pair had been accessing credit card information from untold numbers of patients from the dermatology clinics and were routinely using the cards for all kinds of purchases, from pizza to tires and rims for their automobiles.
'When my check and my boyfriend's check ran out, that's when we would basically go to that measure," said Davidson.
She said she charged a total of about $2,000 to $3,000 between 12 or 13 different credit cards during a three-month period.
At least four victims have been identified, but Arpaio said he fears there may be many more victims.
Dick is being held on a $5,000 bond, while Davidson is being held on a $3,500 bond.
CBS 5 News spoke with the owner of Allsource Medical Management on the phone.
He said the company is a victim, along with patients and providers.
Davidson said she doesn't have a criminal history and her employer trusted her, of which she took advantage.
"I feel so bad for the people I've taken from because not only did I ruin their lives and take money that didn't belong to me, I ruined my own life in that process," said an emotional Davidson.
Sheriff's detectives and the dermatology clinic are asking all patients to carefully review their bank and credit card statements from Jan. 1 until now.
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