A man from Minnesota has been charged with fraud after receiving medical treatment under the false names of two rock stars.
Phillip Michael Schaeffer, 54, sought treatment on three different occasions at the Dixie Regional Medical Center and racked up $23,328.27 in medical bills pretending to be Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson once, and he racked up $15,067.50 posing as Pink Floyd guitarist/singer David Gilmour twice.
The frauds came to light only because Schaeffer couldn’t keep his stories straight and staff at the hospital became suspicious.
“A couple of our employees noticed inconsistencies which prompted them to a little bit of informal investigation,” DRMC Communications Director Terri Draper said. “It showed enough that they were concerned enough to invite local authorities to pursue the matter further.”
Prosecutors are charging Schaeffer with two counts of communication fraud, which is a second-degree felony. Schaeffer was scheduled for an initial appearance on Tuesday January 21st, but didn’t show. Prosecutors found out that’s because he’s currently incarcerated in New Mexico.
Draper confessed he was not sure why Schaeffer deceived staff as the hospital has a policy of not turning away emergency cases:
“We treat those who come to us in need as a part of our mission,” Draper said. “So there really is no reason for anyone to come for care and feel like they need to change their identity, or manufacture something to receive care.”
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