Back in January, we wrote about Huping Zhou, a former employee at the UCLA Healthcare System, who pleaded guilty to federal charges of breaches of patient privacy. Zhou, 48, accessed the UCLA patient records system 323 times during the three-week period, mostly looking for the files of celebrities, after being let go by the hospital. Names of targeted celebrities have not been revealed.
On April 27, 2010, Zhou was sentenced to four months in prison after pleading guilty to four misdemeanor counts of HIPAA violations. Zhou is the first person ever sentenced to prison for violating HIPAA. According to NBC Los Angeles:
Federal officials say Zhou is a licensed cardiothoracic surgeon in China. In 2003, he went to work for UCLA as a researcher with the UCLA School of Medicine. But his tenure was short and stormy. School officials notified him that he would be dismissed in October that year, and that's when federal officials say the snooping began.
In his plea agreement, Zhou admitted his actions, and that he had no legitimate reason for accessing the records. Federal authorities say there's no evidence that he did it for profit. Apparently, he just did it because he could.
"Former UCLA Healthcare Worker Sentenced to Prison for Snooping, " NBC Los Angeles (April 28, 2010).