A 58-year-old Whittier man was arraigned on charges of identity theft and related offenses at the Los Angeles Superior Courthouse in Van Nuys on Aug. 7. He stands accused of having engaged in unlawfully impersonating a licensed pharmacist not just once, but twice during the last decade. That individual claims he knew nothing of the alleged theft.
According to a statement released by the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the one-time pharmacist tech began using the credentials of a licensed pharmacist back in 2001. In the years since, he's worked at various pharmacies across Los Angeles. Each time he was hired on, he would produce a fake ID, Social Security card, and pharmacist license in the name of the pharmacist whose identity he had stolen.
When the defendant was released from jail in the earlier case, he had been required to pay restitution and to refrain from both working in a pharmacy and selling prescription drugs.
While it's unclear what tipped investigators with the DCA off this time around, by the end of May, they had issued a warrant for his arrest. He was detained by agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the San Ysidro border crossing on return from Mexico on July 31.
The current charges the man is facing include a single felony count of each of identity theft, false impersonation, identity theft with a prior conviction and counterfeiting a seal. He also faces two identity theft with forgery felony charges. The one misdemeanor amount the man faces has to do with him falsely representing himself to be a pharmacist.
He's currently being held in Castaic at the North County Correctional Facility on a $70,000 bail. It's believed that he will continue to remain there until his trial starts unless bail is posted in his case.
If you've been accused of having stolen someone else's identity, whether for the first or subsequent times, then you may be facing significant jail time if convicted. By discussing the details surrounding your case with a Van Nuys criminal defense attorney, it may be possible to get felony charges reduced to misdemeanor ones, for a plea deal to be worked out or for a number of other defense strategies to be implemented.
Source: Whittier Daily News, "Whittier man accused of impersonating pharmacist for more than a decade, for a second time," Brian Day, Aug. 24, 2017