Winchester man indicted for HIV data leak

A Winchester man accused of possessing personal information of more than 14,000 HIV people from Singapore has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Mikhy Farrera-Brochez, was arrested on federal charges in February related to a national database from Singapore’s Ministry of Health which he allegedly threatened to release to media in the U.S.

The indictment, which was filed March 7, charges Farrera-Brochez with sending two threatening emails from Kentucky to Singaporean officials with the intent of extortion and unlawfully possessing means to identify another person with intent to commit unlawful activity.

If convicted, Farrera-Brochez could be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison for each email and up to five years for possession of the personal information. Federal prosecutors are also seeking the forfeiture of equipment including cell phones, external hard drives and flash drives.

According to news reports and court documents, Farrera-Brochez was identified in January by Singapore officials as the prime suspect in a leak of personal information about 14,200 people with HIV in the country. Farrera-Brochez lived in the country from 2008 through 2016 with Dr. Ler Tek Siang, now his husband.

Siang was the head of the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Public Health Unit from January 2012 through May 2013 and had access to the database. The Singapore government alleges Siang mishandled the data, which allowed Farrera-Brochez to access it.

Siang is facing charges in Singapore for failing to take reasonable care of confidential information. The case is still pending.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves granted a preliminary injunction, at the request of Singapore’s government, barring Farrera-Brochez from discussing, sharing or disseminating any confidential information obtained from the Ministry of Health, to turn over all copies of the information by March 29, to remove all online posts about the material and permanently delete all copies of the information.

Farrera-Brochez was deported from Singapore in April 2018 after serving a 28-month prison sentence for fraud and drug charges. He said he contracted HIV while he was in prison.

Farrera-Brochez came to prominence following his December 2018 arrest for criminal trespassing at his mother’s home in Clark County. That case is still pending in Clark District Court as well.