South Bay man Ronnie Bogle gave an emotional courtroom statement at the sentencing hearing for his brother Gary Bogle, saying Gary “tortured” him for years by stealing his identity and using it for medical treatment at hospitals around the country. Authorities call this medical identity theft, and the Medical ID Fraud Alliance estimates this crime victimized 2.3 million Americans in 2014.
Gary Bogle was arrested and extradited to Santa Clara County from Washington state in December. He pled guilty to 10 felony counts of false impersonation in January.
On Tuesday, a judge sentenced him to 16 months in prison, with credit for the eight months he’s already served.
Santa Clara deputy district attorney Tom Flattery asked the judge to impose a stiff penalty, saying this type of identity theft is “much more serious” because it involved medical information and records, not just financial information.
“I’m hoping the court will take my statement today into consideration and be used in the court’s decision making regarding sentencing,” Ronnie Bogle said in his victim impact statement. “What was done to me should never have been done to anyone ever.”
Ronnie said he’s spent countless hours over the past five years trying to clear his name. He described a personal nightmare dealing with damaged credit and fighting with hospital billing departments over tens of thousands of dollars in charges for treatment he never received.
“Medical identity theft is happening, it’s growing, it’s going to happen to so many people out there and I want to find one way or another to use my life and bring about change,” Ronnie said.
Gary Bogle showed little emotion in court as his brother spoke. He apologized to Ronnie and told the judge he didn’t know how his crimes affected his brother.
“I didn’t know it was messing him up that bad. I didn’t mean to mess him up. I hope he does well and I’m sorry,” Gary said.
This may not be the end of his legal troubles. Prosecutors in Thurston County, Washington have filed multiple felony identity theft charges against Gary Wayne Bogle.