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Press Release

Allegan County Woman Charged For Posing As A Nurse

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

          GRAND RAPIDS – U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that an Allegan County woman was charged with identity theft for fraudulently posing as a licensed nurse.

          “The allegations in this case involving a woman faking as a professionally licensed nurse are dangerous and put unsuspecting patients in harm’s way,” said U.S. Attorney Totten. “My office takes these accusations very seriously.”

          According to allegations made in court documents, Leticia Gallarzo, 48, used the Michigan licensing number and the name of a person licensed as a nurse to obtain employment as a nurse at an area hospice facility.  Gallarzo did not possess a valid nursing license and represented that she earned a master’s degree in nursing from The George Washington University despite having no formal degree of any kind in nursing.  The hospice facility learned that Gallarzo was a nurse impostor when her fingerprints matched the fingerprints on record due to her previous state and federal convictions for practicing nursing without a license in Texas in 2015 and 2016. 

          Gallarzo is charged with identity theft related to the transfer of the means of identification of another person in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028(a)(7). If convicted, Gallarzo faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.

          “Any unqualified person who poses as a medical professional puts the lives of innocent patients at risk, as alleged in this case,” said Devin J. Kowalski, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “I would like to thank the Michigan State Police for their outstanding investigative work during this case. The FBI remains committed to working with our partners to ensure identity theft cases like this one are thoroughly investigated.”

          The Federal Bureau of Investigation Grand Rapids Field Office and U.S. Health & Human Service Office of Inspector General are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Stella is prosecuting the case.

          A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated August 2, 2023

Identity Theft