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Husband and wife doctors Aaron Lewis, left, and Binbin Wang are photographed on Monday, April 8, 2013 in San Francisco, Calif. The two San Francisco doctors' employer, Kaiser, contracts with Bright Horizons, a national nanny company whenever they need a sittter for their twin infants. Bright Horizons and Med Staffing, the Fremont subcontractor that provides local nannies, sent a female employee to the doctors' home who allegedly tried to transfer thousands of dollars from the doctors' ATM card. (Aric Crabb/Staff)

Aaron Lewis and his wife, Binbin Wang, needed a nanny to take care of their twin toddlers. What they got was someone more interested in their finances than their offspring.

The couple said the woman who came into their San Francisco home on Jan. 2 logged onto Wang's computer and tried to steal thousands of dollars from an online account, attempted to take more funds from a bank account, created a phony email address and then tried to delete the computer's Web history. The computer was damaged beyond repair, they said.

Making matters worse, the couple say, the child care company they hired to provide the nanny, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, since has done little to repair the damage done to their lives.

"As a parent, this is the most sacred thing, trusting someone with your kids," Lewis said. "But they allowed a criminal to come into our home and turn our lives upside down."

Bright Horizons representatives said the company will reimburse the couple $57 they paid for the nanny's services.

"We feel very much for this family and what they've gone through," company spokeswoman Ilene Serpa said. "We helped them make reports to law enforcement and with credit monitoring; we had a security expert speak with them to protect them in the future."

Serpa pointed to another company, Fremont-based Med Staffing, one of many companies that Bright Horizons contracts with to provide child care to employees of its 850 corporate clients worldwide. It was Med Staffing that provided the nanny, she said.


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Bright Horizons operates more than 750 child care and early education centers and provided more than 125,000 days of in-home care last year, Serpa said. It uses subcontractors like Med Staffing to employ nannies "because it enables them to have more stringent guidelines and requirements, more insight and control," Serpa said. "We require that they perform a rigorous criminal background check, and anything that might come up in that check would be a red flag."

Bright Horizons has never had complaints about Med Staffing's service, Serpa said.

Erin Parsons, Med Staffing's branch manager, declined to comment for this story.

Marc Lewis, an attorney representing Lewis and Wang, said he has been in ongoing settlement talks with attorneys from Mendes & Mount, a New York City firm representing Lloyd's of London, the insurance carrier for Med Staffing.

"We were fortunate the crimes were perpetrated only against us -- our children were not physically harmed," Wang said. "I don't know that I can say others would be so lucky."

The couple, both physicians at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, said they needed a nanny to watch their 17-month-old twins on Jan. 2 so they could work simultaneously scheduled shifts. Just hours after leaving the nanny, whom the couple described as a woman in her 20s or 30s, and the twins at their home, Lewis said he got a call from a PayPal employee. The worker said someone had been prevented from transferring $2,500 from Lewis' account that day. Later that night, the couple discovered that Wang's computer was damaged.

The next day, the couple filed a report with San Francisco police. They were alarmed when investigators told them identity theft is not a high priority, Lewis said.

Officer Gordon Shyy, a San Francisco police spokesman, said the department does its best to investigate each crime reported but has limited resources. "The victims ... were able to stop the fraudulent charges before they were posted," Shyy said in an email. "Although they have their suspicions about a suspect, because there was no financial loss, we will not be devoting resources to the case at this time."

Kaiser Permanente then provided the couple a cyber forensic specialist who discovered that, in addition to the PayPal transfer attempt, someone on Jan. 2 tried several times to use Wang's debit card to transfer money, created a phony email account in Wang's name and tried to delete the computer's Web history. The investigator also established a link between those illegal activities and the email address of an East Bay woman who shared the same first name as the nanny. The nanny is not being named because she has not been arrested or charged in the alleged crime.

Lewis and Wang immediately tried to secure their personal information by filing a police report, canceling the debit card, changing all of their online passwords, and closing one bank account and opening another. They also changed their home locks.

But total security proved elusive.

On Jan. 14, the couple's bank informed them of a new online account created in Wang's name, which she was not aware of. Even worse, someone had been monitoring the account daily. "Someone was watching us electronically, and we both lost a lot of sleep," Lewis said. "Your imagination runs away from you when you're lying in bed at 3 a.m., worrying about your kids."

Contact Chris De Benedetti at 510-353-7011. Follow him at Twitter.com/cdebenedetti.