Following the release of an Associated Press news story, the U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday issued a warning about a woman impersonating a physician and performing bogus health exams near truck stops around Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania State police say 56-year-old Joann Wingate used a stolen identity of a psychiatrist with the same last name to perform low-cost physicals on drivers who needed them to maintain their commercial licenses.
The AP story says Wingate is a chiropractor whose license was suspended in the fall after regulators found she had been offering trucker physicals at least since 2009. State police say she continued to offering the exams this year, performing at least 16 since Jan. 1.
Published reports say the scam was uncovered by a California trucker identified as Todd Wakefield. He had an exam performed by Wingate, but was later notified by the California DOT about some irregularities in the paperwork she submitted.
Wakefield alerted officials in Pennsylvania who later uncovered the scam. Police say they are aware of at least 16 drivers who had medicals done by Wingate, but they suspect there are many more who are not aware they were scammed.
State police in Pennsylvania are asking truckers who believe they were victimized to contact state police.
The notice issued by DOT says Wingate has been charged with forgery, identity theft and other offenses. Wingate reportedly told police she didn't perform physicals and had never been to Carlisle, a town about 20 miles from the state capital of Harrisburg.
The DOT notice issued on Tuesday did not say what steps drivers that had a bogus medical exam will have to take to correct the situation.