An American who posted the private HIV data of 14,200 people in Singapore—including more than 50 U.S. citizens—has been sentenced to 24 months in U.S. federal prison, Reuters reports. Originally from Kentucky, Mikhy Farrera-Brochez was found guilty of extorting the Singaporean government.
The bizarre story of Farrera-Brochez and his physician boyfriend made national headlines early this year when news of the leaked data broke and Farrera-Brochez had already returned to Kentucky from Singapore.
According to the earlier reports, Farrera-Brochez, who is living with HIV, moved to Singapore to be with his HIV-negative partner, Ler Teck Siang, MD, who was the head of the Ministry of Health’s national Public Health Unit from March 2012 to May 2013. Because Singapore allows people with HIV to stay in the country for only short visits, Siang allegedly acted as Farrera-Brochez’s personal physician and submitted his own HIV-negative blood in place of his partner’s blood for regular testing. The pair ran this scheme from 2008 to 2017, when the phony blood tests were discovered. Farrera-Brochez was jailed for 28 months in Singapore for fraud, drug offenses and lying to the Singapore’s labor agency about his status.
Last year, Farrera-Brochez was deported. While in the United States, he posted private HIV data he had illegally accessed in Singapore. The information included names, addresses and phone numbers. The leak had officials in Singapore scrubbing the internet of the files and assuring their citizens that people with HIV in the country couldn’t be fired from their jobs because of their status.
Once out of prison, Farrera-Brochez will be on supervised release for three years, according to Reuters.
“The defendant’s conduct was serious and significant, affecting thousands of people across the world,” said U.S Attorney Robert Duncan about the case.