By MARK SULEYMANOV
The wife of a former Lenox Hill Hospital employee was sentenced to at least four years in prison in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday for stealing patient information to make purchases worth thousands of dollars at high-end retailers.
Krystle Steed, 31, dressed in a tan jumpsuit and white sneakers with her long, curly black hair tied into a bun resting on her head, showed no emotion at the sentencing.
“Do you have anything you would like to say before I sentence you?” Judge Bonne Wittner asked Steed.
“No, I don’t,” Steed quietly replied.
Wittner then read aloud her sentence as Steed momentarily put her head down.
She was sentenced to serve four to eight year-terms for grand larceny in the second and fourth degree and two to four years for each additional charge, including attempted grand larceny, identity theft, and criminal possession of stolen property, all to be served concurrently.
Steed admitted in a guilty plea last month that she used information – given to her by former Lenox Hill Hospital and husband Kyle Steed — to obtain credit card information of more than 80 emergency room patients. Kyle Steed, 32, worked at the hospital cleaning surgical equipment.
In total, Steed made over $300,000 worth of purchases and tried – unsuccessfully – to make purchases in excess of $1 million at Saks Fifth Avenue, according to court documents. In one case, a patient had died only two hours before Steed took control of their bank account.
Steed managed to bypass security protocol by impersonating the account holders. According to court documents, she would claim to be at a doctor’s office in need of immediate access to pay a bill. Or, she would reach a service representative who would grant her access.
The couple was arrested in December 2015. Steed also has two other open cases – one in Manhattan and one in the Bronx – for identity theft.
Steed’s actions brought patient security at Lenox Hill Hospital into question.
“Protecting the privacy of patient information is a top priority that we take very seriously,” Lenox Hill spokeswoman Barbara Osborn said in a statement last December. “The hospital continues to take aggressive steps to strengthen the security protocols we have in place to protect patient information.”
Steed’s attorney Glenn Abolafia said last month that his client will look improve her life after this case.
“She will move on from this and hopefully lead a productive life,” he said.