Man admits fraud at seven hospitals, arrest affidavit says
A man arrested on Sunday at St. Mary’s Hospital allegedly admitted using false names to get medical care and narcotics from at least seven hospitals nationwide, potentially getting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of care along the way, according to a Grand Junction police arrest affidavit.
Morris S. Brown, 40, address unavailable, was ordered Monday held at the Mesa County Jail on $10,000 bond after being advised of possible charges including theft of more than $20,000, forgery and criminal impersonation.
St. Mary’s staff reported to police Sunday night an internal investigation showed a patient had checked in roughly a week ago under a false name in order to get unspecified narcotics, the affidavit said.
Brown allegedly gave a false name to officers, said he was a Canadian resident and that he had no identification because his friends took it with them, the affidavit said. He presented nothing confirming his identity.
Brown told another story when threatened with a felony charge, telling officers his real name and saying he had lost his home, family, business and health, the affidavit said.
“Brown stated that along with Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and him being diagnosed with cancer he had lost everything,” the affidavit said. “Brown said he had heard that his children could be charged with his medical bills after he died and that he also heard that by giving a false identity to a hospital, one could still receive care and the hospital would be paid back by some government subsidies.”
Brown allegedly admitted signing in at St. Mary’s under a false name and received high-dose narcotics, which he said he was addicted to, the affidavit said.
Brown allegedly admitted similar schemes during recent visits to at least seven hospitals, the affidavit said. St. Mary’s staff estimated total cost of Brown’s care in Grand Junction and the other facilities was between $10,000 and $70,000.
“Assuming that on average each hospital visit cost $40,000 and that this was the seventh time Brown had done this, Brown had stolen approximately $280,000 in hospital care,” the affidavit said.
Mesa County jail records did not list a hometown for Brown.
Attorneys during Brown’s initial court appearance on Monday said he has criminal history in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, although no prior felony convictions. A public defender who spoke on Brown’s behalf said Brown has two children who live in Ohio.