Chiropractor Charged with Identity Fraud
Hiram chiropractor Christopher Lockerman is charged with stealing more than $264,000 from patients' accounts.
Christopher Lockerman of Lockerman Family Chiropractic in Hiram was arrested Wednesday and charged with eight counts of financial identity fraud and one count of theft by deception in a case that involves the theft of more than $264,000, according to a statement issued today by the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.
Lockerman, 42, was released on a $26,550 bond. He was arrested after an investigation by the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division that began in February, the statement said.
“Detectives began to uncover thousands of dollars that were received from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank thru lines of credit established in the names of patients from Lockerman Family Chiropractic,” the statement said. Lockerman is suspected of using his patients’ information to establish lines of credit with the bank or other financial institutions and siphoning money from the accounts.
“It appears that some of the accounts were opened with the permission of the patient in order to pay for chiropractic services while other accounts were opened in patients’ names without their knowledge or permission,” said Maj. Tom Murphy of the Sheriff’s Office. “However, Lockerman would withdraw all of the money approved on the line of credit instead of what was agreed on for the chiropractic services.”
Lockerman’s patients did not realize they were victims of identity fraud until collection agencies began calling to collect debt from the fraudulent accounts, Murphy said. He said investigators know of other possible victims and want potential victims to contact the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office at 770-443-3015 if they wish to lodge criminal complaints.
A receptionist at Lockerman's office reached by phone Thursday said he was not immediately available to respond to the allegations, but said she would relay the request to him.
Everyone should monitor financial accounts and bank statements each month and check a credit report on a regular basis, Paulding Sheriff Gary Gulledge said. You can limit the damage of identity theft if you detect it early, Gulledge said.