Columbia, SC – A man who stole the identity of a doctor friend and allegedly treated about 500 patients over a six-month period has been arrested for the unlawful practice of medicine and obtaining goods under false pretenses
AP reports that Ernest Addo of Georgia “used documents from a friend who is a doctor in Orangeburg [South Carolina] to convince Agape Senior Primary Care he was a physician.” Addo, who apparently has a history of financial problems according to AP, is in the process of being extradited from Georgia to South Carolina.
The real doctor, who was out of the country teaching medicine in Ghana, said he is “embarrassed and devastated by what his friend did.”
Addo currently faces about 10 years in jail if convicted but could be in even more hot water if any of the seniors he treated were harmed by his actions. Investigators are now reviewing the medical records of the patients he treated at five different medical offices in South Carolina. Other charges such as unlawfully prescribing medicine or illegally getting wages from Agape are also possible.
Agape officials released a statement, asserting:
“We have found no inappropriate diagnosis or plan of treatment. We are convinced that all of our patients are safe and receiving proper care.”
South Carolina authorities initially got wind of the con when they contacted the real doctor about a minor mistake on a death certificate, and he told them he had been in Ghana at the time. About a week ago, the friend evidently found out that Addo had opened credit cards in his name and called police.
Addo is currently being held in the Cobb County, Georgia Detention Center.