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Massive Security Breach At Rodeo Drive Plastic Surgery Clinic Puts Thousands Of Patient Files At Risk

The Rodeo Drive building where the clinic is located. (Photo by Harald C. via Yelp)
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A massive security breach at a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon's office has put thousands of patient files at risk, including those of a number of high-profile celebrity clients. An office manager at Dr. Zain Kadri's Rodeo Drive practice who is acting as a spokesperson for the office told LAist that an estimated 15,000 files containing medical and other personal information were stolen from their practice. Kadri's office alleges that the files were stolen by a former staffer who also surreptitiously photographed patients during procedures and uploaded those photos to her social media accounts.

The former staffer in question was hired as a contractor by the practice in September 2016. Despite reports that she took the files as an act of revenge after being fired, Kadri's office manager said that wasn't the case, "especially since this had apparently been occurring ever since she started working with us." The spokesperson told LAist that she was hired as a driver and translator, but was later also given duties that included data entry and answering phone calls. He added that she quit on March 13 after being confronted about allegedly embezzling from the company. According to the office manager, it wasn't until they regained possession of the woman's company phone that they realized what she had allegedly been doing.

"We had asked for her company phone and she had told us she had lost it, and we later got it back by accident when she violated a trespass order and inadvertently dropped it as she was escorted off the location by the the police," the spokesperson told LAist. The location in question was a Palmdale office where all of the medical practice's files are stored. The phone, however, was locked at the time.

"Through an odd twist, we ended up in communication with her ex, and through communication with her ex we got the unlock code for the phone. That's how we found out what was going on [with the pictures being taken and uploaded online]," he told LAist.

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"She had been taking pictures of patient IDs, patient records, post-op reports, and taking pictures of patients themselves and videos during procedures," the spokesperson continued to LAist. Although the former staffer in question had no medical training, she had asked if she could observe surgeries, which is allowed as long as both the doctor and patient give their consent. "We had no idea she was taking pictures or video at the time," he said. TMZ reports that the stolen files also include surgery "before and after" photos.

The spokesperson told LAist that after looking at the phone's text messages they also found that the former staffer had allegedly been sending pictures of passwords and credit card information via SMS. She was also allegedly uploading photos and videos of patients to Snapchat, as well as "some pretty disrespectful videos of the doctor that she took." The spokesperson claims that while acting as a driver for Dr. Kadri, the former staffer took photos and videos of him sleeping in the car "with filters that made him look like a monkey and other Snapchat filters." She also allegedly sent those sleeping Snapchat videos to a number of the doctor's colleagues.

The Palmdale location where the office's records are kept was also physically burglarized on May 1 and the majority of the practice's medical records, most of which had been digitized, were stolen, allegedly by the same former staffer. "When we entered, we saw that every bit of medical records had been taken including back up hard drives and iPads with patient information," the spokesperson told LAist, explaining that the stolen files had been stored in a number of locations around the office. "Whoever did this knew exactly where everything was," he said, adding that only five people knew where everything was kept and one of them was in Europe at the time of the burglary. Two of the other individuals with knowledge of the file locations were being picked up from LAX at the time of the burglary, and the fourth was Dr. Kadri, who was picking up the other two from the airport. The spokesperson claims that the only other person with knowledge of the locations was the former staffer. He also said that the only other thing that was taken during the burglary were some of her personal effects that were still at the property. "Nothing else was touched," he claimed, including fancy digital cameras and prescription medications.

In total, patient records of individuals from 16 different states and five different countries were affected. "Quite a few of our patients are people that would be recognizable and are of an affluential status, that's as much as we're willing to stay. We've never used the word celebrity, we neither confirm or deny that word," the spokesperson said when asked if he could verify whether those 15,000 cases included celebrities, as stated by CBS LA.

The office is now working to notify all of the patients whose files were affected, however because of the theft they now no longer have contact information for many of them. "This whole thing is turned upside down, we're finding out more and more everyday. We're focusing on trying to take care of the patients," the spokesperson told LAist.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department confirmed that they were handling the investigation out of their Palmdale branch. We reached out to the Palmdale Sheriff's Department for further information but did not immediately hear back.