SINGAPORE: Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, the US citizen who is believed to have leaked confidential information from Singapore’s HIV registry, has been charged in a Kentucky court with the possession and unlawful transfer of stolen identification documents, the US Department of Justice said on Friday (Feb 22).
“The criminal complaint alleges that Farrera-Brochez illegally possessed and intended to distribute data containing sensitive medical and other identifying information,” said the US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Kentucky in a news release.
“While living in the Eastern District of Kentucky, Farrera-Brochez sent links to the data from his email account to several news outlets. He also sent emails to several government officials in Singapore containing links to the data.”
Brochez was charged following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said the news release.
He will next appear in court on Feb 27.
READ: The leaking of Singapore’s HIV registry records and the hunt for Mikhy Farrera Brochez: A timeline
In a joint statement on Saturday, the Singapore Police Force and the Ministry of Health said authorities here are aware of the latest charge against Brochez.
"The Singapore authorities have been working closely with our US counterparts," the statement read. "Concurrently, we have also filed civil proceedings in the US courts, and are doing everything we can to protect the interests of the individuals affected."
Brochez made headline news in January when Singapore's health ministry announced he had leaked the HIV-positive status of 14,200 people, along with confidential information such as their identification numbers and contact details.
Brochez was deported from Singapore in April 2018 after serving 28 months in jail for fraud and drug-related offences, one of which was lying about his HIV status to gain an employment pass.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in Parliament recently that the Singapore police will “spare no effort” in bringing Brochez to justice and that they are "engaging their American counterparts and are seeking their assistance in the investigations against Brochez".
Investigators had also found that Brochez lied about his educational qualifications to apply for jobs, having forged certificates from the likes of Vanderbilt University and the University of Paris.
After Singapore's announcement of the leak, Brochez attempted to clear his name through several posts on Facebook. But authorities refuted his claims and called him "a pathological liar".
"Mikhy Brochez lied about the identity of his mother, he lied about his own identity in his passport, he lied about his educational qualifications, he lied about his HIV positive status, and he is now lying about what he did," Senior Minister of State for Health and Law Edwin Tong had said.