OCALA, Fla. -- A Leesburg grandmother who boasted of buying cars online with money she illegally earned by selling stolen patient information was sentenced to four years in federal prison Tuesday.

  • Stacey Lavette Hendricks order to repay Carvana $22,363 
  • Woman suffered breakdown after daughter's death in 2010
  • Hendricks cared for three grandchildren before her arrest

Stacey Lavette Hendricks, a former biller at a medical marijuana clinic in the Mount Dora area, was charged after a U.S. Secret Service undercover operation in Orange County in 2019.

An informant told agents Hendricks, 49, took pictures of patients’ information with her cellphone and sold each image for $100.

During three separate transactions in 2019, Hendricks sold 20 images to an undercover agent in Orange County. Agents later found an additional 113 sets of patient information after searching her home and car.

She was indicted on 17 federal crimes.

Under an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Hendricks entered guilty pleas to two charges January 30.

She faced as much as 20 years in federal prison for a charge of wire fraud. She faced an additional two years for a charge of aggravated identity theft. 

Senior U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore sentenced Hendricks in an Ocala federal courtroom on Tuesday to 48 months behind bars at Coleman Federal Correctional Institution in Sumter County.

Whittemore also ordered three years of supervision for Hendricks after prison.

The judge told Hendricks to pay online car-retailer Carvana $22,363 for the vehicle she purchased with revenue from stolen identities.

Her attorney said Hendricks suffered a breakdown in 2010 when her 22-year-old daughter died sometime after giving birth and the elder Hendricks became the infant’s caretaker. Then her marriage -- it was her second -- fell apart.

“Since the loss of her daughter, Ms. Hendricks has suffered from insomnia, anxiety and panic,” her attorney wrote in a case filing. “Recently, because of fears about her future and fears for her family during the recent pandemic, she has begun to experience panic attacks again and is not sleeping.”

Hendricks also cared for two children from her imprisoned adult son. 

“She has worked hard,” her attorney wrote in a memo designed to reduce her sentence. “She has been continuously employed while raising her children. She also, after suffering the tragic loss of her daughter and the incarceration of her son, took over as the caregiver to her grandchildren and is raising her second family.”

Hendricks told an undercover officer she sold patient information to make extra money and only selected patients with good credit.

“Hendricks also admitted she had used patient [information] in the past to buy cars from Carvana,” a criminal complaint says. “Hendricks told the [officer] that she sometimes emails [patient information] while sitting on her couch at home next to her boyfriend.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney William S. Hamilton prosecuted Hendricks.