**Originally Published February 20, 2019. Updated May 19, 2019**
This blog series is dedicated to sharing real-world stories of the most serious cases of stolen identities — and just how devastating these crimes can be on organizations, individuals, and families. This week’s recap focuses on how an anesthesiologist committed medical identity theft, stealing the identities of both living and deceased patients to fuel his drug habit.
About the Identity Thief
In January 2019, Dr. Paul Biddle, a 54-year-old, New York-based anesthesiologist who also runs a medical marijuana practice, pleaded guilty to stealing patient information so that he could write prescriptions and divert opioid medication to his home and office. According to reports, Biddle was illegally ordering controlled substances by using the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of 23 patients, two of whom were deceased.
Over the course of four years, the doctor wrote 888 fraudulent prescriptions for opioids including hydromorphone, fentanyl, and morphine. He filled the prescriptions through a pharmacy in Tampa, Florida, paying for them without using patient insurance to avoid detection. Biddle would then use the drugs himself.
Catching the Fraudster
Authorities grew suspicious of the number of opioid prescriptions being written by Biddle and the fact he was doing so through Tampa despite being located in Orchard Park, NY. Investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began searching through the doctor’s trash where evidence confirmed he was using patient information to have the prescriptions mailed to himself.
Biddle was arrested by federal agents on several counts of fraud and identity theft. His sentencing is scheduled for May 9, 2019, where he faces up to 5 years in prison.
**Update May 13, 2019: Dr. Biddle received two years probation after pleading guilty to identity theft and unlawful possession of opioids.