Clark man faces federal charges for HIV data

Published 2:45 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

A Winchester man charged in Singapore with leaking the confidential information of more than 14,000 HIV patients is facing federal charges in Kentucky.

Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, 34, was charged Friday with possession with the intent to transfer unlawfully five or more identification documents and transferring an identification document known such document was stolen.

The criminal complaint alleges Farrera-Brochez illegally possessed and intended to distribute data containing sensitive medical and other identifying information, the press release states.

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According to the criminal complaint filed by FBI agent Chelsea Holliday, Farrera-Brochez admitted to possessing the database, bringing it to the U.S. and sending parts of the database to the Supreme Court of Singapore, several Singaporean government officials and several media outlets.

The data leak reportedly included personal information of more than 14,000 people, both Singapore citizens and visiting foreigners, diagnosed with HIV between 1985 and December 2011.

Holliday wrote that Farrera-Brochez “admitted to sending the database because he wanted to ‘clear his name and to hopefully get his husband off … false charges.’”

In January, Singapore’s Health Ministry identified Brochez as the prime suspect in the case, but according to Singapore media, Brochez and his husband, Ler Tek Siang, are both connected to the data leak.

Allegedly, Siang falsified Brochez’s blood test so he could work in Singapore as a lecturer. Singapore does not grant work permits to foreigners who are HIV positive.

The Straits Times, a Singaporean newspaper, reported that Siang was head of MOH’s National Public Health Unit from March 2012 to May 2013 and had access to the HIV Registry for his work, and has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for failing to take reasonable care of confidential information regarding HIV-positive patients.

Brochez was deported in April 2018 after serving a 28-month prison term for drug and fraud charges, including falsifying a blood test.

According to Channel News Asia, Brochez said he contracted HIV after he was “gang-raped in prison” and claimed the government is interfering with the case.

Farrera-Brochez told FBI agents this is motive for releasing the database.

Farrera-Brochez first contacted the FBI Lexington Resident Agent in November 2018.

“Brochez alleged his husband … married him under false pretenses and conspired with the Government of Singapore to falsely imprison him,” the complaint said. He also said Siang was somehow involved in a severe data leak.

Farrera-Brochez told the FBI he was forced to confess to crimes he did not commit, and while he was imprisoned in Singapore from 2016 to 2018, he was raped and contracted HIV.

He told agents his husband was part of a burglary in which someone broke into Farrera-Brochez’s apartment in Singapore and stole the database containing the medical and other identifying information of thousands of patients. He said Siang brought the database home to work on.

“Farrera-Brochez believed Siang was somehow involved in the burglary and theft of the information but could not explain how he knew that,” Holliday wrote. “(He) went on to accuse the Government of Singapore of kidnapping, lying, forging documents, falsely imprisoning him, impersonating police officers and allowed (him) to be raped in prison. Farrera-Brochez claims he did not have HIV before he went to prison.”

Farrera-Brochez began contacting the FBI again in January saying he had important information to share and that he believed the Government of Singapore was going to kidnap him. Holliday said Farrera-Brochez appeared to be emotionally distressed and was erratic.

Shortly after, Farrera-Brochez revealed to media and the National Public Health Unit (NPHU) of Singapore that he had possession of the database information.

According to the complaint, Farrera-Brochez spoke with a reporter from VICE News and admitted to sharing the database with Singaporean and American government officials and the press, and offered to provide the database to the news agency.

“According to VICE News, ‘Farrera-Brochez wants Singaporean authorities to listen to him and is using the threat of publicly releasing the database as leverage,’” the complaint states.

The complaint also reveals that Farrera-Brochez posted his intentions to his Facebook page stating, “I will continue releasing this evidence until the Lee regime stops the HIV Registry and releases my husband Dr. Ler Teck Siang from the unlawful imprisonment based on false charges.”

He also allegedly told Holliday he would “commit suicide before he would turn over the database.”

Farrera-Brochez was arrested in Clark County in December and charged with third-degree criminal trespassing for allegedly refusing to leave his mother’s property. According to the most recent complaint, Farrera-Brochez was living with his mother, but she had him evicted. It was the second time he had been asked to leave the property, and he was arrested for third-degree criminal trespassing.

In a phone interview with Farrera-Brochez’s mother, Teresa King, she told FBI agents she believes her son is mentally ill and she is “extremely afraid of him.”

King said her son also shared the database with her via email, but she deleted it from her inbox and trash folder immediately.

Clark District Judge Charles Hardin continued Brochez’s  trespassing trial until March 4. He remains free on bond.

Farrera-Brochez is due in court at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Lexington.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email or call 859-759-0049.

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