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DOJ busts fake doctor treating patients in Virginia clinic

Vishal Patel, 30, of Glenn Allen, allegedly used personal information and credentials of real physicians to pose as a doctor.

Beth Jones Sanborn, Managing Editor

The U.S. Department of Justice charged a Virginia man with fraud, making false statements and identity theft after posing as a doctor and treating more than two dozen patients in a Newport News clinic.

Vishal Patel, 30, of Glenn Allen, allegedly used personal information and registration and licensing numbers of legitimate physicians to masquerade as a doctor in online applications to medical staffing companies, claimed he was licensed to practice medicine in Virginia and created and submitted false documents about his his education, training, certifications, and licenses, according to the DOJ.

[Also: Running list of notable 2017 healthcare frauds]

In order to get the doctors' information, Patel allegedly posed as the physicians and contacted various oversight entities, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, directing them to alter the physicians' licensing records so that they appeared to be associated with him, and then had the agencies mail him copies of the changed records, the DOJ said.

Patel was able to gain employment as an independent contractor through various staffing agencies, including a job at a free clinic in Newport News. During his employment there, he saw nearly two dozen patients before he was terminated due to the clinic's inability to verify his credentials.

Patel has been charged with wire fraud, furnishing false information in a DEA record, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years, along with a mandatory consecutive term of two years in prison, if convicted.

Twitter: @BethJSanborn
Email the writer: beth.sanborn@himssmedia.com

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