Allegan County News & Union Enterprise News

Feds charge local woman with posing as a nurse

On August 1, 2023, a criminal complaint against Leticia Gallarzo of Plainwell from FBI Special Agent Tiffany Eagles was filed with U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally J. Berens with information regarding identity theft which included possessing, transferring, and using the means of identification of another person. The identity theft allowed Gallarzo to pose as a registered nurse.
Agent Eagles had been contacted by the Chief Administrative and Compliance Officer of a Grand Rapids health care network in August 2022 at which time, Gallarzo had completed an application using the name Leticia Perri. The discrepancies in the application led to an investigation.
This was not the first investigation that involved Gallarzo. In 2015-16, she was convicted of practicing without a license in Texas. In 2016, Gallarzo had been convicted through Kent County’s 17th Circuit Court of using identity and education documentation of another individual to get a job.
During the current investigation, it was learned that the license number belonged to another Leticia. In addition, Leticia Gallarzo had been excluded from participating as a care provider in Feb. 2020 due to a felony health care fraud conviction.
In May 2023, the Michigan State Police (MSP) became involved because of possible identity theft after Gallarzo had submitted an employment application through Indeed.com for a registered nurse position at a Grand Rapids hospice care facility. Gallarzo submitted the application under Leticia Perri and provided a counterfeit driver’s license with the Perri name. When questioned regarding the name on the license, Gallarzo claimed she had gotten married since the license was awarded.
When the hospice facility did Gallarzo’s fingerprints check, it confirmed that she had truly been “excluded from providing direct services to a patient or resident of a nursing home, hospice facility or other similar facilities”.
On June 1, 2023, MSP discovered Gallarzo working at a skilled nursing home as a registered nurse. She explained it was as a Unit Manager who monitored certified nurse assistants.
Upon a search of Gallarzo’s apartment, MSP found a MI nursing license that belonged to a co-worker along with a forged driver’s license.
The information gathered during the investigation led to the complaint alleging probable cause which led to the charges against Gallarzo because of the unlawful use of the Michigan nursing license. In addition, she claimed to have a degree of Master of Science in Nursing from George Washington University.
As with all criminal complaints, they are considered allegations and “defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
On August 2, 2023, Mark Totten, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, announced that Leticia Gallarzo (48) of Allegan County was formally charged with identity theft for fraudulently posing as a licensed nurse.
The allegations contained in court documents included:

  • Using a MI licensing number of another person;
  • Not possessing a valid nursing license when apply for a care position;
  • Claiming to have earned a master’s degree despite completing no formal coursework;
  • Posing as another person;
  • Neglecting to reveal her previous state and federal convictions for practicing without a license in 2025-25 while living in Texas.
    The identity theft, or using the identity of another person, violates Title 18, U. S. Code, Section 1028(a)(7), which means Gallarzo could face up to 15 years in prison.
    Acting Special Agent in Charge of the MI FBI Devin J. Kowalski thanked the Michigan Police for the thorough investigation and committed the continued partnership between the MSP and the FBI.
    Also involved in this investigation was the U.S. Health & Human Service Office of Inspector General.

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