PALMDALE – Palmdale Sheriff’s Station detectives are investigating a burglary at the Palmdale home of a prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon whose patients’ records were compromised in a massive breach.
A spokesperson for Doctor Zain Kadri of Advanced ENT Head and Neck Surgery told broadcast outlets that the records of 15,000 patients were taken by a disgruntled former staff member who was fired for allegedly stealing from the practice. Some of the patients are alleged to be celebrities.
The staff member not only stole financial information but also took photos of patients before and during surgeries while they were unconscious and posted them on social media, the spokesperson told CBS2.
A press release issued Wednesday by Kadri’s practice indicated that records of patients in more than 16 states and four countries were breached.
“Despite having only recently being discovered, the breach, which affects thousands of patients, started shortly after the … staffer was hired in September of 2016,” according to the release. “The staffer stole credit card information, debit card information, IDs, copies of checks, usernames, passwords (and also) photographed our patients prior to and during surgery, as well as recording conversations.”
Information about Kadri and “corporate documents” were also involved in the breach, the release stated.
Local sheriff’s investigators were informed on May 5 of the burglary “of an unconfirmed number of patient files … along with medical supplies and electronic devices” from Kadri’s residence in the 400 block of Questa Court, Palmdale, according to a news release from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
“There were no witnesses to the burglary; however, Dr. Kadri has indicated that he believed an ex-employee may be responsible,” sheriff’s officials said in the news release.
The ex-employee has not been detained but is being sought for questioning, according to the sheriff’s department, which reported that Kadri “is known to have a number of practices within Southern California” and that patients should check for unauthorized activity on their credit and banking accounts.
Anyone with information that could aid detectives in their investigation is encouraged to call Lieutenant Burgin at the sheriff’s Palmdale Station at 661-272-2506.
Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers by calling 800-222-TIPS.