HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Huntington Station woman has been accused of ripping off physical therapy patients to pay for cosmetic surgery.
Suffolk County Police say Andrea Echevarria pilfered personal information from records kept by her old employer, Deer Park PTDC — a physical therapy office located in Deer Park.
Authorities allege that Echevarria used the information to open a line of credit that she used to pay for $15,000 worth of cosmetic surgery.
As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Echevarria allegedly began to steal the information — from three elderly patients — within days of starting work at the office.
Police say she then used the bogus line of credit at Romellini Cosmetic Surgery in Huntington. Sources said the victims were billed for fat injections to increase the size of Echevarria’s buttocks — a procedure known as the ‘Brazilian butt lift.’
“She had the surgery done in her name, but opened three different lines of credit under three elderly victims whose identities she stole from her former employer,” Assistant Deputy Suffolk County Police Commissioner, Justin Meyers said.
Echevarria allegedly claimed to be the victims’ granddaughter, and that she was authorized to open the line of credit.
Among the victims was the cosmetic surgery center, which must now absorb the losses.
Dr. James Romanelli — chief of staff of Huntington Hospital — said under HIPA laws he can’t identify a patient, but confirmed the practice was scammed.
“Identity theft affects everyone and it affects the cost of credit, all of us end up paying for this,” Dr. Romanelli said.
Echevarria, 33, was arrested on Tuesday, and charged with two counts of identity theft in the first degree, and one count in the second degree.
In court, prosecutors said the single mother of two has a 20 page rap sheet and was on parole with an extensive record of identity theft.
Echevarria’s weeping family left without comment.
“She did not do it,” attorney Christopher Cassar said.
The judge ordered Echevarria held on over $100,000 bail adding that no credit cards would be accepted.
Her quest for the perfect derriere could now land her behind bars for 7 years on each felony count.
Echevarria no longer works for the office, and police said it’s possible there are other victims.