An estimated 10,000 physicians have phony foreign medical degrees that brought one broker of fraudulent diplomas $1.5 million over three years, a congressional panel was told Friday. Claude Pepper, Democrat-Florida, said many American citizens may be receiving medical treatment from doctors who lied on their medical school loan applications, and used the money not to go to school but to pay a broker for fake documents claiming they completed school and training. Pedro DeMesones, now serving a three-year prison sentence for mail fraud and conspiracy, told the panel that in three years of “expediting” medical degrees, he provided about 100 clients with false transcripts showing they had fulfilled medical requirements of schools they didnt attend.
“Clients paid me from $5225 to $27,000 for my services,” DeMesones said. “In all I earned about $1.5 million in those three years. I only got to keep about $500,000 of this total. The rest went for bribes and expenses.”