Police: Mich. man duped resort by faking being a doctor
Farmington, Pa. — A Michigan man has been jailed on charges that he stayed at a posh southwestern Pennsylvania resort and ran up a $16,000 tab by pretending to be a heart surgeon and golf pro who was in town to interview for a job at a nearby hospital.
Jeffrey Paul Cochran, 41, of Scottville, Michigan, was in the Fayette County jail after he was unable to post $150,000 bond at his arraignment Wednesday on charges of theft of services and theft by deception.
Cochran was arrested at his mother’s graveside funeral service on Nov. 12 in Jamestown, Michigan, state police told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which first reported his arrest. Cochran was then brought to Pennsylvania to face charges.
Cochran allegedly stayed for free from May 15 to May 28 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, after pretending to be a doctor interviewing at nearby Uniontown Hospital. Cochran called the resort and identified himself as a hospital physician, Dr. Dan Renyolds, who was arranging accommodations for an out-of-town doctor who happened to be a golf pro, state police in Uniontown said in a criminal complaint.
Cochran then pretended to be the out-of-town doctor and checked into the resort under his own name. He was given a $500-a-night room and left out the hotel’s back door when hotel officials tried to call “Dr. Renyolds” about paying the bill, police said.
Investigators later determined that Renyolds’ phone number and Cochran’s were the same, and that no Dr. Renyolds worked at Uniontown Hospital. Police also found prescription medicine, a Social Security card and birth certificate in Cochran’s name in the hotel room he used.
At the resort, Cochran charged “multiple items to his house account from the golf shop, restaurants and the resort spa totaling over $16,000,” the complaint said.
Cochran is also wanted by authorities in Lincoln, Nebraska. There, he’s also accused of pretending to be a doctor on business at a local hospital to obtain free lodging at a hotel for a 47-day stay that began last Dec. 26. Cochran skipped out on that $3,200 tab in February, which he allegedly told the hotel would be paid by the hospital, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Lancaster County, Nebraska, attorney’s office.
An official in the Nebraska prosecutor’s office was checking whether authorities there were aware of Cochran’s arrest and whether they planned to extradite him to face charges in that state.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for Cochran, who faces a preliminary hearing on Dec. 15.