Fake doctor ERNEST ADDO apparently didn’t need a license to practice medicine – cops say he just tapped websites and smartphone apps to get the info he needed!
The crafty con man allegedly treated as many as 500 patients, earned $175,000 for his work and got a brand-new Mercedes to drive before cops caught him.
“He was very convincing,” Sheriff James Metts of South Carolina’s Lexington County told The ENQUIRER. “If you’re working around real doctors and nurses, I’d say you’d have to be pretty sharp to pull this off.”
Authorities say Addo, who got some medical training in Belize, stole the identity of Dr. Arthur Kennedy, a family physician in Orangeburg, S.C.
Dr. Kennedy and Addo, 48, are both from Ghana and knew each other. But while Dr. Kennedy was in the West African nation teaching medicine, Addo used his name to land a job with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health from September 2011 to January 2012, Metts said.
Then, once again using Dr. Kennedy’s name, Addo got hired by the health care firm Agape Senior. From February to August 2012, he saw patients at four of the company’s nursing homes and one of their rehabilitation centers in South Carolina.
“Addo never carried out any surgeries, but he was diagnosing and treating illnesses and prescribing medications,” said Metts.
“We understand that he was using Internet sites like ask.com and smartphone apps like Ask Doctor to get information on illnesses and how to treat them.”
And the creep’s motivation was strictly mercenary, he added. “He was doing it for the money,” Metts explained. “Agape paid Addo $175,000 for those eight months, along with a brand-new Mercedes as a signing bonus.”
The sheriff likened Addo to the character Leonardo DiCaprio played in the 2002 movie “Catch Me If You Can,” who conned millions of dollars by posing as a doctor, airline pilot and other professions.
Addo was finally tripped up when he made a minor mistake on a death certificate, according to Metts.
“The Department of Health tried to contact him to straighten out the error but were unable to reach him at the phone number he’d provided,” Metts said.
“They dug into their files and were able to reach the real Dr. Kennedy, who’d just gotten back from Ghana. He told them he hadn’t signed any death certificates.”
When cops arrested Addo at his home in Austell, Ga., “they found him hiding under a bed,” said Metts.
Addo is now behind bars, charged with the unlawful practice of medicine and obtaining goods under false pretenses. He faces 10 years in jail if convicted, and doctors are now examining the medical records of patients he treated.
“We want to see if Addo caused them any harm,” said Metts. “We think he’s going to be facing some other very serious charges. If convicted, he may never get out of jail.”
We think he’s going to be facing some very serious charges. If convicted, he may never get out of jail.”