- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A fugitive American who claimed he was a psychiatrist will be returned to upstate New York to face federal charges he took $70,000 for a bogus promise of a liver transplant in the Philippines, a federal prosecutor said Thursday.

Jerome Howard Feldman, 67, was indicted last month on federal wire fraud charges and arrested Feb. 2 in Manila, acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Baxter said. Feldman had been a fugitive since 2001 on state and federal fraud, racketeering, money laundering, and stolen property charges in Florida.

The federal indictment said he used aliases to trick a Canadian couple into wiring him a total of $70,000 to arrange a liver transplant at a Philippine hospital. It alleged that he posed as a doctor online and promised that the money would cover medical bills for the procedure, which was to be performed on the husband by another doctor.

But hospital staff in the Philippines told the man that the promised transplant doctor did not perform such procedures, and that they had never heard of the doctor Feldman claimed to be. The husband died on July 11, 2008, at the Philippine hospital without receiving a transplant, Baxter said.

Investigators also found at least six other victims of the scheme. Approximately $400,000 had been wired to Feldman’s alias by victims, Baxter said.

Feldman, who was currently being held in Guam on immigration charges, will return to New York in the next several weeks, Baxter said. Feldman did not have a lawyer.

If convicted on the wire fraud charge, he faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

(This version CORRECTS that it was a Canadian couple instead of a DeWitt, N.Y., couple who allegedly wired Feldman $70,000).)

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