Wife Of Alleged Casper Prescription Drug Ring Leader Ordered Detained
A federal judge has ordered the detention of a Casper woman charged with illegally obtaining personal health information.
U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson ordered Lyn Kahn held in custody during a detention hearing in federal court in Cheyenne on Tuesday. Johnson also ordered her bound over for trial.
Kahn was arrested in Casper on June 1 on a federal warrant for allegedly violating a provision of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA),
In November, she and her husband, Dr. Shakeel Kahn, were arrested and later indicted for their roles in a multi-state prescription drug conspiracy.
They were released on bond, but in January they violated the terms of their probation by contacting potential witnesses. U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl then ordered Shakeel Kahn detained, but released Lyn Kahn with strict conditions.
However, she allegedly violated the terms of her probation in February by illegally accessing Wyoming's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a violation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, according to an affidavit filed by a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent in federal court on June 1.
On May 19, a federal probation officer conducted a routine visit to her home on Thorndike Avenue to look at the communications devices she uses.
Kahn provided two cell phones and one laptop computer, the latter having files with prescription information related to former patients of Shakeel Kahn. The officer took screen shots of those documents, which were from the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database.
The database tracks prescriptions for controlled substances to assist patients and health care providers avoid their inappropriate use and track illegal activity, according to the affidavit. "The information contained in the database contains protected health information."
On May 24, investigators contacted the PDMP and determined Shakeel Kahn's account was still active. However, he was incarcerated and did not have access to the internet, nor had he sought permission to delegate his authority to anyone else to access the account.
The PDMP's activity log found the account was used to query four former patients of Shakeel Kahn with individually identifiable health information, including information about an unidentified defendant in the prescription drug conspiracy case
"The fact that the documents were observed on L. Kahn's computer led investigators to believe that the fraudulent access, disclosure and subsequent possession of individually identifiable health information protected under HIPPA [sic] had been conducted by L. Kahn...," according to the affidavit.
On May 30, law enforcement authorities obtained a search warrant and seized Lyn Kahn's computer and two cell phones.
The next day, an analysis of the computer determined Lyn Kahn had accessed the PDMP three times on Feb. 13 and twice on Feb. 16.