A Mason City occupational therapist who accessed the private records of nearly two-thousand patients will spend 14 months in a federal prison.

Thirty-three-year-old Samantha Jo Rogers pleaded guilty to to one count of acquiring and attempting to acquire a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, and subterfuge, one count of wrongfully obtaining individually identifiable health information under false pretenses and with intent to use for personal gain, and one count of false statements relating to health care matters.

Court information at her hearing showed Rogers was employed at a North Iowa hospital and several therapy companies. Rogers illegally accessed the private health and residence information of no less than 1,900 patients at the hospital. Rogers also similarly accessed such information from one of the therapy companies no less than 1,572 times. Rogers then used this information to locate and travel to some of the residences and attempted to obtain the patients’ prescription pain medication on the pretense that she was a public health worker.

On other occasions, Rogers used a crow bar to break down the patients’ doors and commit burglaries to obtain the narcotics. In early 2018, for example, Rogers burglarized the same Forest City home twice in attempts to steal an elderly man’s prescription pain killers. Another one of Rogers’s victims was an elderly woman who had recently been discharged to her residence from a Waverly nursing home after receiving skilled nursing care.

In January 2018, Rogers traveled to the woman’s home and falsely stated that the woman’s doctor did not want her taking her pain medications anymore. Rogers then took the medications from the woman.  As a result of Rogers’s false statements, the woman’s family had to take the woman to the emergency room due to the excruciating pain she began experiencing. The woman eventually had to return to the Waverly nursing home for more skilled care as a result of Rogers’s actions. Then, after the woman was discharged a second time from the nursing home, Rogers returned to the woman’s home and knocked on her doors and windows trying to get into the home, until one of the woman’s family members arrived to help the elderly woman.

United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams called Rogers’ crimes “egregious” and emphasized that the victims of her burglaries would never fully regain the sense of safety they had previously felt in their homes. Judge Williams also found it was “particularly egregious” when, less than a month after law enforcement officers had executed a search warrant at Rogers’ Mason City home, Rogers took a crow bar to another home as a part of her scheme.

In addition to her prison sentence, Rogers was ordered to forfeit her State of Iowa occupational therapy license.