New charges filed in HIV data leak

New federal charges have been filed against a Winchester man involved in a data leak involving personal information of thousands of HIV-positive people in Singapore.

Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court for transmitting threats to reputation in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to extort a thing of value and knowingly possessing, transferring or using means of identifying another person with the intent to violate the law.

Farrera-Brochez appeared in federal court in Lexington Wednesday for a preliminary hearing in another case, where he is charged with transferring stolen identification documents and possession more than five identification documents with the intent to transfer them.

Brochez’s attorney waived that case to the federal grand jury, and the judge ordered that Brochez remain in federal custody.

Brochez and his husband are at the center of allegations they possess personal information of more than 14,000 people listed in a national database of HIV-positive people in Singapore.

Brochez lived there for a time with his husband, Dr. Ler Teck Siang, who had access to the database while serving as the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Public Health Unit from March 2012 through May 2013.

According to published reports, Siang is accused of falsifying Brochez’s blood test so he could work as a lecturer in Singapore. Brochez was deported in 2018 after serving a 28-month prison term for drug and fraud charges.

Brochez was arrested in Clark County in December for criminal trespassing for allegedly refusing to leave his mother’s property. A trial in that case is scheduled for Monday in Clark District Court.

The Straits Times, a Singapore-based newspaper, reported Siang is facing charges in Singapore for not taking proper care of the information.

According to an affidavit by FBI agent Chelsea Holliday, Brochez admitted to possessing the database and sent it to several media outlets in an attempt to “clear his name and to hopefully get his husband off … false charges.”

The FBI affidavit also referenced a social media post by Brochez in which he said he would continue releasing information to persuade the Singapore government to stop the registry and release Siang from custody.