Nurse Imposter Living In Allegan County Indicted By U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan
Leticia Gallarzo of Allegan County has been indicted by a federal grand jury for impersonating a registered nurse while working at an undisclosed hospice facility and nursing home. This appears to be a case of identity theft. Gallarzo has been convicted in Texas on similar charges:
Michigan nurse ‘impostor’ indicted by feds for fraud
By Skyler Ashley - September 27, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WLNS) — A woman from Allegan County has been indicted on several federal charges after allegedly posing as a registered nurse to defraud employers.
Mark Totten, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, announced Wednesday that Leticia Gallarzo, 48, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for several charges, including wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, making false statements in medical records, and production of a false identification document.
Gallarzo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud and two years mandatory imprisonment for aggravated identity theft if convicted. She was previously indicted for similar charges in Texas.
The indictment alleges Gallarzo used the Michigan licensing number and the name of a person licensed as a nurse to obtain employment as a registered nurse at two different locations: a nursing home and a hospice facility.
According to the indictment, she did not possess a valid nursing license or a degree of any kind in nursing, despite claiming she had a master’s degree in nursing from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Davenport University.
The hospice facility discovered Gallarzo’s fingerprints matched other fingerprints that were on record due to her previous state and federal convictions for practicing nursing without a license in Texas in 2015 and 2016. She was then arrested by Michigan State Police.
“As alleged in this case, the defendant recklessly and willingly put the lives of innocent patients at risk,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan.
Woman admits to stealing Michigan nurse’s identity in scheme to get medical job
By Bradley Massman | November 07, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A West Michigan woman has admitted to stealing and using another person’s identity in order to get a job as a licensed registered nurse, federal prosecutors said.
It’s not the first time, either, that 49-year-old Leticia Gallarzo is in trouble for practicing nursing without a license.
Gallarzo, of Allegan County, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday, Nov. 7, to single counts of aggravated identity theft and making a false statement in a medical record affecting a health care benefit program.
The identity theft charge carries a mandatory two-year prison sentence which must be served before any sentence imposed on the other charge.
“The allegations that Ms. Gallarzo faked being a licensed nurse and created false medical records are extremely alarming,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “By allegedly posing as a certified medical professional, she risked patient care and put unsuspecting individuals in harm’s way.”
Gallarzo falsely represented that she was a licensed registered nurse and had completed a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Davenport University when applying for a job at a local nursing facility, court records show.
Federal prosecutors did not say where, specifically, Gallarzo worked.
When transmitting her application to a prospective employer through Indeed.com, Gallarzo used someone else’s identification who she knew was actual licensed registered nurse in Michigan.
After obtaining a job as a nurse, Gallarzo evaluated and assessed elderly nursing home patients and falsely signed electronic medical records as a licensed registered nurse.
The false statements were related to Medicare. The nursing home relied on Gallarzo’s status as a licensed registered nurse to meet certain Medicare regulations for participation in and billing of Medicare, prosecutors said.
Gallarzo has previous state and federal convictions for practicing nursing without a license in Texas in 2015 and 2016.
A sentencing date was not immediately scheduled on Tuesday.
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