Nurse Imposter Sent to Prison for Health Care Fraud
VICTORIA, Texas – A 43-year-old former resident of Goliad has been ordered to prison after she admitted to repeatedly posing as a nurse, announced acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Leticia Gallarzo pleaded guilty on July 6, 2017, to five counts of making false statements relating to health care.
Today, U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Gallarzo a 14-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. She was further ordered to pay restitution totaling more than $34,000. In handing down the sentence, Judge Rainey noted that upwardly departing from the sentencing guidelines was appropriate in this case given the nature and circumstances of the offense and the Gallarzo’s history and characteristics.
Gallarzo has no medical training, but obtained employment as a registered nurse at two hospitals and three nursing homes in five different Texas cities over a seven-month period. As each employer discovered the deception, Garza would leave the facility and immediately begin seeking work at a medical facility in another city.
At the time of her plea, Gallarzo admitted she had knowingly lied about being a registered nurse on five occasions in order to secure employment for which she was not qualified.
She will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI and the Texas Attorney General’s Office - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit conducted the investigation with the assistance of police departments in Goliad and Victoria. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert D. Thorpe Jr. is prosecuting the case.