Addiction counselor steals patient’s identity, accumulates $ 60,000 in debt
By Ross Guidotti
GREENSBURG, PA (KDKA) – State Police say an addiction counselor in Greensburg stole a patient’s identity, then racked up tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
Investigators call this a catastrophic breach of trust between a trusted professional and someone asking for help.
State Police said Nina Marie Barkley, 34, was acting as a professional counselor at a substance abuse treatment center in Greensburg when she victimized a woman already struggling with serious personal issues.
“When patients entered, they had to give their information,” said Private Stephen Limani.
Investigators say Barkley gathered the normally confidential information for his alleged criminal activity.
“This counselor, Miss Barkley, decided to take this information and open a ton of credit applications on behalf of the victim,” Limani said.
Court records show Barkley opened fraudulent accounts at eight financial institutions, including credit cards, loans and lines of credit. Limani says the money allegedly stolen was over $ 60,000.
When the State Police finally caught up with Nina Barkley, it was at her home in Greensburg. When they asked her who she was, she continued to have issues with her identity.
“When we approached her, she actually used the name of the person she had stolen as an identity,” Limani said.
Barkley faces identity theft and other charges. She’s in the Westmoreland County Jail on bail.
“It’s a shame that someone attacks someone who walks into such an establishment,” Limani said.
The soldiers say that one of the reasons the victim was able to discover the alleged illegal activity was by checking his credit report. They recommend that everyone check their credit reports at least twice a year.
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