Stealing someone’s personal information or identity for personal gain is against the law in the state of Ohio. Certain professions, such as nursing, meet criteria to lawfully practice. For example, nurses generally need to have a license to practice, as well as a degree from an accredited nursing school.
An Ohio man was recently charged with stealing the identity of a licensed practical nurse and unlawfully practicing as a nurse for almost four years. The 27-year-old man apparently used fraudulent documents to work for two home health agencies and has been working as a nurse and treating patients, including children, without a legitimate license since 2015.
According to the attorney general, while there is no law specifically against impersonating a human being, the man can be charged with various other crimes, including practicing nursing without a license and endangering children. He is facing 12 charges in total, including identity fraud against a person in a protected class, Medicaid fraud and telecommunications fraud.
The criminal act of the fraud is a white collar crime that generally requires that someone made false statements with the intent to commit deception and that a victim relied on these false statements. Defending against identity fraud charges can be challenging, but there are various defenses used by defense attorneys to help their clients.
One of the most common defenses is proving that the alleged perpetrator lacked the intent to deceive. In other words, if a person was unaware that they were committing fraud and did not intent to cause harm, they did not have the requisite intent to commit fraud and may have their charges dropped.