Army Doctor and Spouse Plotted to Give Russia Medical Records, US Says

Author: Yuvi September 30, 2022

Army Doctor and Spouse Plotted to Give Russia Medical Records, US Says

A Maryland doctor and her spouse, a US Army doctor, were arrested on Thursday and charged with plotting to give the Russian government medical records of members of the American military, believing that the information could be exploited by the Kremlin, federal prosecutors said.

The couple, Dr. Anna Gabrielian, a Baltimore anesthesiologist, and Dr. Jamie Lee Henry, an Army major and staff internist at Fort Bragg, was indicted after they met several times with an undercover FBI agent who they believed was working for the Russian Embassy, ​​prosecutors said.

At a hotel in Baltimore on Aug. 17, Dr. Gabrielian told the agent she was “motivated by patriotism toward Russia to provide any assistance she could to Russia, even if it meant being fired or going to jail,” the indictment stated.

Dr. Henry told the agent that, “My point of view is until the United States actually declares war against Russia, I’m able to help as much as I want. At that point, I’ll have some ethical issues I have to work through,” the indictment stated.

Dr. Gabrielian replied, “You’ll work through those ethical issues,” according to the indictment.

Dr. Gabrielian told the agent that she had instructed her spouse to read “Inside the Aquarium: The Making of a Top Soviet Spy,” a book about the recruitment and training of a Soviet intelligence officer, which she said described the “mentality of sacrificing everything, ” according to the indictment.

At a meeting with the agent on Aug. 24, Dr. Gabrielian called her spouse a “coward” who was concerned about violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA, which governs the privacy of a patient’s health records, the indictment stated. Dr. Gabrielian told the agent that she violated the law “all the time,” according to the indictment.

A week later, at a hotel in Gaithersburg, Md., Dr. Gabrielian gave the agent medical information on the spouse of an employee of the Office of Naval Intelligence, and highlighted an issue in the records that “Russia could exploit,” as well as the medical records of an Air Force veteran, the indictment stated.

Dr. Henry gave the agent the medical records of at least five patients at Fort Bragg, including a retired Army officer, a Defense Department employee and the spouse of an Army veteran, the indictment stated.

Dr. Gabrielian, 36, was charged in US District Court for the District of Maryland with one count of conspiracy and two counts of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information.

Dr. Henry, 39, was charged with one count of conspiracy and five counts of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information. Conspiracy is punishable by up to five years in prison and each count relating to the disclosure of medical records is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

David Walsh-Little, a lawyer for Dr. Henry, declined to comment on the charges on Thursday. Teresa Whalen, a lawyer for Dr. Gabrielian, did not immediately respond to an email and a phone message.

The indictment did not disclose where Dr. Gabrielian works, although the Maryland Board of Physicians lists Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore as her primary practice setting.

“We were shocked to learn about this news this morning and intend to fully cooperate with investigators,” Kim Hoppe, a spokeswoman for Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a statement.

An Army referred questions about the case to the Justice Department, but confirmed that Dr. Henry entered active duty service in May 2007, is currently assigned to Fort Bragg as a staff internist and has no combat deployments.

During the Aug. 17 meeting at the Baltimore hotel, Dr. Henry told the agent that he looked into joining the Russian Army after Russia invaded Ukraine in February, but Russia wanted people with “combat experience” and he did not have any, the indictment stated.

“The way I am viewing what is going on in Ukraine now is that the United States is using Ukrainians as a proxy for their own hatred toward Russia,” Dr. Henry told the agent, according to the indictment.

Dr. Gabrielian told the agent on Aug. 17 that she had previously reached out to the Russian Embassy by email and phone, offering Russia her and her spouse’s assistance, according to the indictment.

Dr. Gabrielian, describing how she and Dr. Henry could help Russia, suggested that their access to medical records should not be wasted on trivial matters, the indictment stated.

“It has to be something massively important,” she told the undercover agent, according to the indictment, “not just check if this person has polyps.”

30 September, 2022, 3:12 am

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