A Georgia-area man was arrested Friday for stealing a man's identity and practicing as a physician for six months.
Police say that Ernest Addo was arrested for practicing medicine without a license. Allegedly, Addo was hired by Agape Senior, a company based in West Columbia, South Carolina that owns and operates 23 assisted living, nursing care, rehabilitation, and hospice care facilities in the state of South Carolina. Addo started his position in February, working in five facilities. Agape believes that he treated as many as 500 seniors.
In a statement released by the organization, Agape says that the individual had come highly recommended from another employer and provided all the necessary paperwork needed to start.
Last week, Addo abruptly quit his position with Agape. That same day, an Orangeburg, South Carolina man reported to police that his identity had been stolen. He fingered Addo as the perpetrator of the crime, saying that he had been using his name to practice medicine and his credit cards. The Orangeburg man said that Addo was a personal friend of his. The police found Addo and arrested him at his home in Aurell, Georgia.
Authorities are currently investigating whether Addo had medical training in order to convincingly impersonate a physician. There is no indication that Addo is wanted for crimes elsewhere in the United States. Authorities also have found that Addo was not licensed to practice medicine in any area in this country.
Janet DiNino, the Chief Clinical Officer at Agape, said in a statement, "As an integrated health provider committed to the health and well-being of its patients and its position in the communities it serves, Agape is shocked that someone would perpetuate such a fraud upon it and its patients. Agape has taken immediate steps to protect its patient sand ensure all care was appropriate relative to this matter."
The sheriff's department has not released the alias that Addo used.