The defendant, a pharmacist, used the identifying information of a doctor and patient to create fraudulent prescriptions. He was prosecuted for aggravated identity theft and health care fraud.
The pharmacist asked the trial court to dismiss the charges arguing that he did not assume either the doctor or patient's identity. The Sixth Circuit held that the statute did not require the United States to prove that the pharmacist actually assumed the identity of another. The Court held that a person is guilty of aggravated identity theft if they "used" the identity during and in relation to the underlying fraud.
Aggravated identity theft is being charged more frequently by federal prosecutors because it carries a mandatory minimum sentence in federal prison. Defendants need to retain experienced federal criminal defense attorneys to litigate health care fraud and aggravated identity theft cases.