Physician used fake identity to treat patients at Maryland hospital

Oluwafemi Charles Igberase pleaded guilty Nov. 15 to misusing a Social Security number to fraudulently obtain a medical license in Maryland, according to the Department of Justice.

According to his plea agreement, Mr. Igberase came to the U.S. in October 1991 on a nonimmigrant visa. He subsequently obtained fraudulent Social Security numbers using other names and false identifying information. To practice medicine and get into a residency program in the U.S., Mr. Igberase obtained three certifications from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates using fraudulent Social Security numbers between 1992 and 1998.

The ECFMG revoked or suspended two certifications in December 1995 after learning they were obtained using fraudulent information. However, using the third ECFMG certification under the name Charles John Nosa Akoda, Mr. Igerbase was admitted to a residency program in New Jersey.

In 2011, Mr. Igberase used a fourth fraudulent Social Security number to obtain a medical license in Maryland. He went on to practice obstetrics and gynecology and obtained medical privileges at Dimensions Health, a Maryland system serving residents of Prince George's County.

In 2012, Mr. Igberase used his fake identity to submit a Medicare Enrollment Application. The application was denied after officials realized Mr. Igberase did not provide an accurate Social Security number.

Under the plea agreement, Mr. Igberase will be sentenced to six months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Dimensions Health is also involved in litigation over Mr. Igberase's fraudulent use of Social Security numbers. Two former patients sued Dimensions in federal court, alleging there are at least 1,000 women who saw Mr. Igberase while he was using the fake name. The complaint does not challenge Mr. Igberase's competence to practice as an OB-GYN. The plaintiffs claim they suffered significant harm due to the fact that the physician did not use his real name. They further allege Dimensions was negligent in either hiring Mr. Igberase or granting him privileges that allowed him to practice at its facilities.

Dimensions claims it owed the plaintiffs no legal duty to ensure the physician was not using an assumed name or that his Social Security number belonged to him.

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