Gerald Barnbaum

Gerald Barnbaum

Infobox Criminal

subject_name = Gerald Barnbaum
image_size =
image_caption =
date_of_birth = 1933
place_of_birth = Chicago, Illinois
date_of_death =
place_of_death =
charge = Fraud, Identity Theft
penalty =
status = Incarcerated
occupation =
spouse =
parents =
children =

Gerald Barnbaum a/k/a "Gerald Barnes" (born in 1933, in Chicago, Illinois) was an impostor doctor or quack, and criminal who repeatedly posed as a medical doctor.

Originally trained as a pharmacist, Barnbaum had lost his licence in the aftermath of fraud charges against his employer in the mid-1970s. He moved to California, and, after having legally changed his last name to Barnes, in 1976 stole the identity of a licensed medical doctor (Dr. Gerald C. Barnes (orthopaedic surgeon)) and worked steadily as a physician for the next few years. However, in 1979, his negligence and lack of medical knowledge contributed to the death of John McKenzie, a 29-year-old undiagnosed Type I diabetic from Orange County, California who had complained to him of classic signs of diabetes (chronic thirst, dizziness, and weight loss), and was later found to have been suffering from severe hyperglycaemia. In the ensuing investigation, Barnbaum's imposture was discovered. In 1980, he was charged with murder in McKenzie's death; the charge was plea-bargained down to manslaughter and practicing without a medical license, for which he served only 19 months.

Despite McKenzie's death, after his release from prison and still on bail, Barnbaum continued to practice medicine fraudulently, serving another three prison sentences as he was repeatedly caught. In 1996, he obtained a position which included performing physical checkups on FBI agents, making his imposture a federal crime with much tougher sentencing. During a transfer to another prison, Barnbaum escaped and again found work as a physician; he was found and arrested by authorities less than a month later. He is now serving a 20-year sentence in a federal penitentiary. [ ]

Further information

* John Carlova. "A Loaded Gun Waiting to Go Off." "Medical Economics," 1/21/1985.
* Elizabeth Fernandez. [ Bizarre Medical Masquerade: Determined con man steals Stockton doctor's identity for 20 years.] "San Francisco Chronicle," 2/18/2001.
* John Mesirow. [ Talk About The Long Con.], 6/29/2007.
* Kenneth B. Noble. [ Doctor's Specialty Turns Out to Be Masquerade.] "The New York Times," 4/17/1996.
* Jane Doe a/k/a "Ty." [ He's not a doctor but he plays one in real life.], 5/5/2005.

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