UPDATE 1/24: Festus Ighalo, 37, of Virginia Beach, was sentenced Friday to 57 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud the government.

Ighalo pleaded guilty on October 8, 2013.

According to court documents, Ighalo and his co-defendant Emmanuel Effiong used their positions as nurses aids at Sentara Virginia General Hospital to obtain personal information from thousands of patients to file false tax returns.

Sentara Hospital systems sent letters to 3,862 patients - 217 this month - alerting them that their information was stolen.


NORFOLK -- Emmanuel Effiong, 36, formerly of Virginia Beach, was sentenced Friday to 81 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to defraud the government and aggravated identity theft.

Effiong and his co-defendant Festus Ighalo, originally from Nigeria and now naturalized U.S. citizens, were former nurse aides at Sentara's Virginia General Hospital in Virginia Beach.

According to court documents, the pair allegedly accessed patient records and, along with other unnamed accomplices, filed false income tax returns in order to get refunds totaling approximately $400,000. The group reportedly received more than $116,000 before they were caught.

Effiong pleaded guilty on October 11, 2013.

Ighalo also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced on January 24, 2014.

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