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Former medical school researcher Huping Zhou was sentenced to four months in federal prison and fined $2,000 for reading the confidential medical files of co-workers and celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Hanks.
Zhou was not accused of selling the information and claimed that, as a Chinese national, he didn't know it was a violation of U.S. law to peep into the files.
The headline-grabbing breaches led California legislators to pass a bill boosting the maximum fine for privacy breaches at health facilities from $25,000 to $250,000.
Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the legislation into law after his wife Maria Shriver had her records breached at UCLA Medical Center. Shriver filed for divorce last week.
The UCLA Health System includes Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital, and the UCLA Medical Group, a network of primary and specialty care satellite offices.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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