The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia Dec. 20 announced that an Indian American resident of Glen Allen, Va., Vishal J. Patel, has been arrested in Kansas on charges of fraud, false statements and identity theft.
According to allegations in the indictment, the 30-year-old Patel used the personal identifying information of licensed physicians to pose as a doctor in online employment applications to medical staffing companies.
Patel falsely claimed in such applications to be licensed to practice medicine in Virginia. To support this claim, he created and submitted false diplomas and certificates concerning his education, training, certifications and licenses in which he included registration and licensing numbers belonging to various licensed physicians, the attorney’s office said.
To obtain access to their information, Patel posed as the physicians when contacting various oversight entities, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, it added.
According to the indictment, Patel directed those entities to alter the physicians’ licensing records so that they appeared to be associated with himself. He then directed these entities to mail himself copies of the altered records.
Through the scheme, Patel fraudulently induced various medical staffing companies to employ him as an independent contractor, the attorney’s office said.
Patel obtained employment through at least one company at a free clinic in Newport News, where he saw nearly two dozen patients before he was terminated due to the clinic’s inability to verify his credentials, it added.
Patel has been charged with wire fraud, furnishing false information in a DEA record, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, Patel faces a maximum penalty of 20 years, along with a mandatory consecutive term of two years in prison.