Ex-employee of Bartlett autism center sentenced in ID theft

Transformations Autism Treatment CenterA Collierville resident has been sentenced to federal prison for computer fraud and aggravated identity theft from a Bartlett business. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant for the Western District of Tennessee announced the sentence on Friday.

According to information presented in court, Transformations Autism Treatment Center terminated the employment of Jeffrey R. Luke, 42, as a behavioral analyst in mid-February 2017. That ended his authority to access the center’s patient records, which were kept in a password-protected secure Google Drive account. When Luke was dismissed, center personnel changed the password to protect the data.

However, in March, the center’s IT specialist noticed that the email address used by center employees to log in to Google Drive had been compromised. Investigators traced the hack back to Luke’s residence. A search warrant turned up patient records, forms and templates on the hard drive of Luke’s computer.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, “With new and ever-changing technology, criminals are using more creative and disturbing ways to commit cyber-crimes against vulnerable victims, including identity theft. This case demonstrates the commitment and ability of the U.S. Attorney’s office, working with our federal and local law enforcement partners, to detect compromises of personal and sensitive information and hold offenders accountable for such fraudulent schemes.”

On March 2, U.S. District Judge John T. Fowlkes Jr. sentenced Luke to 30 months of imprisonment and three years of supervised release. The judge also ordered Luke to pay $14,941.36 in restitution.

The FBI and Bartlett Police Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Deb Ireland prosecuted this case on the government’s behalf.