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Man pleads guilty to stealing S.C. doctor’s identity

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A man accused of stealing a South Carolina physician’s identity and treating patients by doing checkups and prescribing drugs pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Ernest Osei Addo, 51, stole the identity of a friend who was a doctor and worked for several medical clinics before his scheme was uncovered, authorities said. Police believe Addo, who was heavily in debt, was motivated by money.

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Addo faces two years in prison and $250,000 in fines when he is sentenced in June.

He also faces state charges of practicing medicine without a license and illegally distributing controlled substances. His attorneys declined to comment.

Addo met Dr. Arthur Kennedy, of Orangeburg, at a political rally in Ghana, where both were born, according to federal authorities. In court Tuesday, Assistant US Attorney DeWayne Pearson said the men planned to open a medical clinic in the United States.

Kennedy gave Addo documentation of his own medical training but remained in Ghana to teach. Using Kennedy’s information, prosecutors said, Addo obtained a South Carolina driver’s license and created an online profile with a physician employment agency, which placed him for a short time at a job in Greenwood.

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