BALTIMORE -- A Johns Hopkins anesthesiologist and her spouse, a U.S. Army Major and military doctor, conspired to share highly-sensitive medical records with Russia, according to a federal indictment filed Wednesday.
Anna Gabrielian and Maj. Jamie Lee Henry allegedly communicated to someone they believed to be working for the Russian government, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, that they were willing to provide the medical records of military personnel and of certain patients of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Both live in Rockville.
The indictment only refers to Johns Hopkins as "medical institution 1," but Gabrielian, 36, says she is employed at Johns Hopkins Hospital on her LinkedIn and is also listed as an anesthesiology instructor at Hopkins Medicine.
"We were shocked to learn about this news this morning and intend to fully cooperate with investigators," a spokesperson for Johns Hopkins Medicine told WJZ.
The indictment said Maj. Henry, 39, held a Secret level security clearance, which permits an individual to have access to information classified Secret, "the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security." Maj. Henry was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, one of the largest military installations in the world.
A 2015 Buzzfeed article profiled Maj. Henry as the first out transgender active duty U.S. Army officer, as a transgender woman. Prosecutors in the indictment referred to them as Gabrielian's "husband" and used he/him pronouns.
The two are charged with conspiracy and offenses related to violating HIPAA, a federal law that protects sensitive health information from being disclosed without the patient's consent or knowledge.
Gabrielian allegedly met with the undercover FBI agent at a Baltimore hotel on August 17 after the agent told her they were associated with the Russian Embassy. The anesthesiologist told the agent she had previously reached out directly to the Russian Embassy by email and phone to offer her and Maj. Henry's assistance after the nation invaded Ukraine, the indictment alleges.
Maj. Henry allegedly went to the hotel the same night and told the undercover of their commitment to "assisting Russia," according to prosecutors.
The major is quoted in the indictment as telling the agent "…until the United States actually declares war against Russia, I'm able to help as much as I want. At that point, I'll have some ethical issues I have to work through."
Gabrielian allegedly replied: "You'll work through those ethical issues."
Gabrielian was "motivated by patriotism toward Russia," and allegedly said her spouse had info on how the U.S. establishes field hospitals. She allegedly told the agent their information needed to be used "for something tactically advantageous…not just check if this person has polyps."
Maj. Henry allegedly hesitated in handing over the information. The week after the clandestine hotel meeting, Gabrielian allegedly told the agent her spouse was a "coward" concerned about HIPAA violations. She said she "had no concerns and violated HIPAA 'all the time,'" prosecutors said.
Despite any initial misgivings, prosecutors say the couple met with the agent on Aug. 31 at a Gaithersburg hotel to handover the medical information of:
- The spouse of someone employed by the Office of Naval Intelligence
- A veteran of the U.S. Air Force
- A retired Army officer
- A current Department of Defense employee
- The spouse of an Army veteran, and the two spouses of two deceased Army veterans
"The fact they went through with this, or tried to go through with it, is troubling," said Michael Greenberger Director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security. "That could be used by Russia to blackmail the individual whose information is released."
The two had their initial appearances Thursday at the U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Both have been released on home detention with 24/7 location monitoring. Gabrielian also has a $500,000 unsecured bond.
If convicted, the two face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy and a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for each count of disclosing individually identifiable health information.
Read the full indictment here:
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