A West Palm Beach teenager has been incarcerated in Virginia, after impersonating a physician in that state. The teen, aged 19, was indicted by a grand jury early this January on charges of identity theft, forgery, attempting to obtain money through false pretenses, and making false statements in order to obtain credit, according to the Palm Beach Post. The defendant faces charges in Palm Beach County as well as Virginia. In Florida, he is facing charges of unlicensed practice of medicine, grand theft, and forgery. As part of his fake medical practice, he “treated” and elderly women for stomach pain, defrauded her of $35,000 in the process. After being released from jail in Palm Beach County, he left the state, which was in violation of the conditions of his pretrial release, and he also failed to attend his scheduled bond hearing. Earlier, he spent his days roaming the hallways of St. Mary’s Medical Center of West Palm Beach, wearing a white lab coat and impersonating a doctor. He was issued a cease-and-desist by the Florida Department of Health, though no charges were pressed due to his age. When a defendant faces this many charges across state lines in such a relatively short period of time, experienced legal counsel is needed.
Impersonating a Doctor in Florida
Obtaining or attempting to obtain property through personation is charged as larceny in Florida, according to Florida statute 817.02. Larceny, or theft, is classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property taken. Grand theft, which is the taking of property valued at $300 or more, can be categorized into three different types:
- Third degree grand theft is a third degree felony: value of property stolen was $300 or more but under $20,000;
- Second degree grand theft is a second degree felony: value of property stolen was $20,000 or more but less than $100,000; and
- First degree grand theft is a first degree felony: value of property stolen was $100,000 or more.
Additionally, other variables regarding the item(s) stolen factor into the degree of grand theft. For example, if the item stolen was a firearm or a semitrailer employed by law enforcement, the charges may be increased.
Practicing Medicine Without a License in Florida is a Felony
Practicing medicine without a license in the state of Florida is a felony. If no bodily injury occurs, it is a third degree felony with a maximum prison sentence of five years and a maximum fine of $5,000, according to Florida statute 456.065. If bodily injury occurred, the charge is upgraded to a class two felony, with penalties including a maximum $15,000 fine and incarceration of at least one year and a maximum of 15.
Contact an Experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing multiple felony charges for fraud, larceny, or other serious charges, reach out to us today at (561) 220-3355 to talk to one of the experienced West Palm Beach Attorneys of the Skier Law Firm.