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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Man Arrested on Fraud Charges for Posing as a Doctor

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Glen Allen man was arrested late yesterday in Kansas on charges of fraud, false statements, and identity theft.

According to allegations in the indictment, Vishal J. Patel, 30, 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 the Commonwealth of Virginia. To support this claim, Patel 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. To obtain access to their information, Patel posed as the physicians when contacting various oversight entities, including the Drug Enforcement Administration. Patel directed those entities to alter the physicians’ licensing records so that they appeared to be associated with Patel. He then directed these entities to mail him copies of the altered records. Through the scheme, Patel fraudulently induced various medical staffing companies to employ him as an independent contractor. 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.

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. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Robert B. Wemyss, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Washington Field Division, and Michael C. Grinstead, Acting Chief of Newport News Police, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaitlin C. Gratton and Brian J. Samuels are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-125.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Topic(s): 
Identity Theft
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated December 20, 2017