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Author Topic: American fraudster: Mikhy K Farrera Brochez [Certified Dishonest & Disgusting]  (Read 6558 times)

Offline greentara

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HIV-positive status of 14,200 people leaked online by American fraudster: Singapore MOH
Staff Writer | 28 January 2019

The HIV-positive status of 14,200 people and their identification numbers and contact details have been leaked online by an American fraudster, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (28 January).

The records belonged to 5,400 Singaporeans diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013 and 8,800 foreigners, including work and visit pass applicants and holders, diagnosed with the disease up to December 2011, MOH said in a press release.

The leaked information included their name, identification number, contact details such as phone number and address, HIV test results and related medical information.

The details of another 2,400 individuals identified through contact tracing up to May 2007 were also leaked, MOH added.

MOH said it is working with the relevant parties to disable access to the information.

“We are sorry for the anxiety and distress caused by this incident. Our priority is the wellbeing of the affected individuals. Since 26 January, we have been progressively contacting the individuals to notify them and render assistance,” MOH said.

On 22 January, MOH was notified by the police that confidential information from MOH’s HIV Registry may have been disclosed by an unauthorised person. MOH made a police report the following day.

MOH ascertained on 24 January that the information matched the HIV Registry’s records up to January 2013. It immediately worked with the relevant parties to disable access to the information.

“While access to the confidential information has been disabled, it is still in the possession of the unauthorised person, and could still be publicly disclosed in the future,” MOH said.

The confidential information was in the illegal possession of Mikhy K Farrera Brochez, a male US citizen who was residing in Singapore, on an employment pass, between January 2008 and June 2016, according to MOH.

Brochez was convicted of numerous fraud and drug-related offences in March 2017, and he was sentenced to 28 months’ jail.

He had lied about his HIV status to the Ministry of Manpower, in order to obtain and maintain his employment pass, furnished false information to police officers during a criminal investigation, and used forged degree certificates in job applications.

Upon completing his jail sentence, Brochez was deported from Singapore and currently remains outside Singapore.

Brochez was a partner of Ler Teck Siang, a male Singaporean doctor, who was the Head of MOH’s National Public Health Unit (NPHU) from March 2012 to May 2013.

Ler had authority to access information in the HIV Registry as required for his work. He resigned in January 2014.

In September 2018, Ler was convicted of abetting Brochez to commit cheating, and also of providing false information to the police and MOH. He was sentenced to two years’ jail. Ler has appealed and his appeal is scheduled to be heard in March 2019.

In addition, Ler has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for failing to take reasonable care of confidential information regarding HIV-positive patients. His case under the OSA is pending.

“This incident is believed to have arisen from the mishandling of information by Ler, who is suspected of not having complied with the policies and guidelines on the handling of confidential information,” MOH revealed.

In May 2016, MOH lodged a police report after receiving information that Brochez was in possession of confidential information that appeared to be from the HIV Registry. Ler’s and Brochez’s properties were searched, and all relevant material found were seized by the police.

After Brochez had been deported from Singapore, MOH received information in May 2018 that Brochez still had part of the records he had in 2016. MOH lodged a police report, and contacted the affected individuals to notify them.

On 22 January 2019, MOH was notified that more information from the HIV Registry could still be in the illegal possession of Brochez. On this occasion, he had disclosed the information online.

Brochez is currently under police investigation for various offences, and the authorities are seeking assistance from their foreign counterparts.

The police have also issued a statement about the leak.

“In response to media queries, the Police confirm that a report was lodged by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on 23 January 2019, regarding a suspected leak of confidential information from MOH’s HIV Registry. We are seeking the assistance of our foreign counterparts in our investigations. It is inappropriate to comment on the case further as investigations are ongoing,” the police said.

Gan Kim Yong’s briefing

Speaking at a briefing on Monday evening that was open to only local media outlets, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong apologised for the data breach.

“I am sorry that one of our former staff who was authorised to have confidential information in our HIV Registry appears to not have complied with our security guidelines and this may have led to an unauthorised person gaining possession of the data and disclosing it online,” Gan said.

MOH takes a serious view of the matter and will continue to monitor the situation, the minister said. It will review its systems to make sure that they are secure, he added.

He also stressed that MOH staff are progressively contacting the affected patients, who can contact counsellors for help.

“I also understand the concerns, anxiety and distress faced by affected patients and our priority is their well-being,” Gan said.


« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 12:28:26 PM by greentara »

Offline greentara

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Mikhy Brochez jailed in the United States for leaking Singapore HIV data
Mikhy Farrera-Brochez was sentenced to 24 months in a US federal prison for extorting the Singapore government.
Chris Kenning/CNA | 30 September, 2019

SINGAPORE — An American who leaked the names of more than 14,000 HIV-positive people in Singapore has been sentenced to 24 months in a US federal prison for extorting the Singapore government.

Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, a 34-year-old man originally from Winchester, Kentucky, was found guilty in June of threatening the Singapore government with widely publishing the identification of HIV positive patients.

The data included information on more than 50 US citizens.

The US Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Kentucky published details of the sentencing in a statement released on Friday (Sept 27).

"The defendant's conduct was serious and significant, affecting thousands of people across the world," said United States Attorney Robert Duncan, according to the statement.

Farrera-Brochez was also ordered to forfeit to the federal government the electronic devices and Google accounts he used in his crimes, the prosecutor's office said.

Singapore deported Farrera-Brochez last year after convicting him of numerous drug-related and fraud offences, including lying about his own HIV status.

Farrera-Brochez disclosed online the personal information of 5,400 citizens diagnosed with HIV up to January 2013, and of 8,800 foreigners diagnosed up to December 2011, Singapore's health ministry said in January.

Upon release from prison, Farrera-Brochez, originally from Winchester, Kentucky, will be on supervised release for three years.

Reuters could not reach Farrera-Brochez or his lawyer for comment.


Offline ainat

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Ex-MOH doctor at heart of HIV data leak gets more jail time
Mon, 21 December 2020, 7:07 pm

SINGAPORE — The Singaporean doctor at the heart of a massive data breach from the country’s HIV registry was on Monday (21 December) found guilty after trial of failing to give a urine sample to an anti-narcotics officer.

Ler Teck Siang, 39, was handed a 10-month jail term after the verdict at the State Courts.

He also admitted to one count under the Official Secrets Act, for failing to take reasonable care of data in the HIV registry, which was considered in sentencing. He now has no outstanding criminal charges.

Ler, who currently does not have a certificate to practice medicine, had litigated in-person during his trial, as with his two previous trials – for drug crimes and cheating offences.

He will serve the new prison sentence after he completes his current jail term of one year and three months for narcotics offences. He had earlier completed a jail term of two years for cheating and giving false information to public servants.
Injected drug abuser in hotel room

In early 2018, Ler abetted another person, Sim Eng Chee, to take drugs by injecting the latter with methamphetamine, commonly known as “Ice”, in a hotel room at Swissotel The Stamford.

Sim, a self-confessed drug abuser who has already been dealt with for possession and use of methamphetamine, got to know about Ler sometime in 2017 at a sex and drugs party.

Sim connected with Ler via the Grindr dating app and engaged his “slamming” services on a number of occasions. The colloquialism refers to the practice of injecting drugs. Ler would charge $40 for the service, and any fees incurred for one-way transport.

At about 6.30pm on 26 February 2018, Sim and Ler met in a room at the Swissotel The Stamford hotel for a “slamming” session. Ler was paid for his services.

A few days later, on 1 March, Sim booked a room at the Conrad Centennial Hotel, initially intending to stay for just one night. But he later decided to extend his stay by one day.

He proceeded to Geylang to purchase drugs while contacting sex partners and Ler for his slamming service.

When Sim returned to the hotel, he met Ler at the lobby and the two went to the hotel room. However, Sim was unable to gain access to the room with his key card.

Sim had forgot to inform staff that he wanted to extend his stay, and they had found suspected drugs and drug-related paraphernalia, including three packets containing a white substance, a syringe and a blue strap, in the safety deposit box in the room.

When Sim returned to the reception with Ler, he saw the hotel staff at the lift and felt something was amiss. He told Ler to stay away as he proceeded to the reception counter for assistance.

Both Sim and Ler were handed over to the police, and later the Central Narcotics Bureau.

Officers who searched Ler at the hotel found a syringe among his belongings.

Two of the packets were later found to contain methamphetamine, while the third held ketamine.

For the drug offences, Ler was sentenced to one year and three months’ jail. In August, his appeal was dismissed.
Cheating offences, HIV data leak

Ler was the Head of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) National Public Health Unit (NPHU) from March 2012 to May 2013 with access to the HIV registry. He resigned from MOH in January 2014.

MOH got to know that Ler’s partner Mikhy K Farrera Brochez had data from the HIV registry in 2016. The couple were married in New York in 2014.

Brochez was convicted of numerous crimes in early 2017 and was sentenced to 28 months’ jail. He was deported to the US in April 2018 after serving his sentence.

Meanwhile, Ler, who swapped his blood sample in place of HIV-positive Brochez so that the latter could get an employment pass, was found guilty on two cheating charges and two counts of giving false information to a public servant. He was sentenced to two years’ jail in November 2018. His appeal was dismissed in March last year.

The month after Brochez was deported, MOH got to know that he still had the confidential data, but which had not been disclosed publicly. On 22 January last year, the ministry was notified that the data had gone online.

That same month, MOH announced that the HIV-positive status of 14,200 people, along with their names, identification numbers and contact details, had been leaked online by Brochez.

Brochez sent two e-mails in January and February to Singapore government officials, threatening to disseminate the data unless his demands were met.

In September last year, Brochez was jailed for two years in the US for extorting the Singapore government. He was also ordered to forfeit the electronic devices and Google accounts he had used in his crimes.