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Medical identity theft has become one of the fastest growing heathcare fraud problems in the nation. Some uninsured patients have been found to use false identification simply to secure free medical care. In a more serious situation, this case reported by the Monterey County District Attorney shows how identity theft can be used in an emergency room to obtain a free supply of illegal pain medication. The lesson here is to be more vigilant in workers’ compensation claim processing to make sure that medical services were actually delivered to the injured worker, especially when pain medication is involved.

Julian Demitre Rosario, age 22, was sentenced by the Honorable Wendy Duffy for insurance fraud and unlawful use of personal identifying information. The defendant was placed on five years of felony probation, ordered to serve 210 days in custody, be subject to search and seizure and pay victim restitution. The court retained jurisdiction over victim restitution for Premier Insurance, Blue Shield, CHOMP and the two individuals whose identity the defendant used to obtain medical treatment. The estimation of the total restitution is approximately $50,000. The defendant was immediately remanded into custody after sentencing.

During the month of July, 2014 on four different dates, the defendant went to CHOMP’s emergency room complaining of abdominal pain. Each time the defendant was seeking to obtain narcotics. He informed personnel of his true name one time, a variation of his name another time and two other individuals’ names the other two times. On the last date while the defendant was receiving treatment from a doctor, another emergency room doctor recognized the defendant and that he was using a false identity and insurance. CHOMP personnel contacted Monterey Police who responded, interviewed the defendant and then arrested him. The defendant had been contacted by police regarding similar allegations on a previous occasion. During the two contacts, he gave inconsistent versions of who he was, his age, and why he was at the hospital.

The case was investigated by Monterey Police Officer Amy Carrizosa and District Attorney Investigator Mark Trueblood. This case was handled by the Healthcare Fraud Unit of the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. This unit aggressively investigates and prosecutes prescription drug fraud and insurance fraud in Monterey County. The unit also investigates and prosecutes cases involving use of another’s identity to secure healthcare benefits; healthcare related embezzlement; unlawful healthcare solicitations/referrals; fraudulent or inflated pharmacy billings; prescription fraud and abuse; out-patient surgery center fraud; and fraudulent disability claims.