A former federal employee with the Veterans Benefits Administration has been sentenced to six months in prison for illegally accessing the medical records of six veterans according to an announcement from the Justice Department.
Jeffrey Miller, 40, of Huntington, West Virginia, was also sentenced to one year of supervised release.
Miller previously admitted that he illegally accessed the medical records of six veterans between January and May of 2018. Miller further admitted that he took a picture of the medical records of former West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda, and then sent the picture to an acquaintance.
According to Stars and Stripes, Ojeda said the records were then distributed among high ranking Republicans and used to derail his campaign in 2018 for Congressional office in West Virginia. Ojeda sued the VA for documents related to the agency’s investigation of Miller, saying the records would “prove a concerted effort to undermine his candidacy and forever damage his reputation.”
Ojeda ultimately lost the election to state Congresswoman Carol Miller. Her campaign said she is not related to Jeffrey Miller and that the congresswoman has not seen the medical records.
United States Attorney Mike Stuart said in a statement about the case, “We must protect our veterans. Miller used his position with the Veterans Benefits Administration to illegally access the medical records of veterans. Medical records are protected information and veterans have an expectation and right of privacy. We will prosecute anyone who violates our veterans.”