Marketer pleads guilty to buying, selling millions of Medicare beneficiary ID numbers

A Florida-based marketer pleaded guilty to buying and selling more than 2.6 million Medicare beneficiary identification numbers and other personal identifying information. 

Charles McElwee, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, according to a Jan. 27 Justice Department news release. He is one of the first to be prosecuted under the law, which made it illegal to buy, sell, or distribute Medicare beneficiary identification numbers without proper authority. 

Mr. McElwee said he and others used data mining and social engineering techniques to collect Medicare beneficiary information, which he then advertised and sold online, according to the release.

He is scheduled to be sentenced April 7 and faces up to five years in federal prison. 

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