Police: Woman posed as nurse

Columbus police have arrested a local woman after she was accused of posing as a registered nurse.

Holly M. Whyde, 45, Columbus, was arrested on federal warrants for false statements relating to health care matters and aggravated identity theft, both in violation of Title 18 of the U.S. code, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus police spokesman.

She is believed to have worked at assisted living facilities and home care-giving businesses in south central Indiana, he said.

In December, Columbus Police Department Detective Chris Couch received a tip involving identity deception about a registered nurse in northern Indiana, Harris said.

Couch determined that Whyde used the professional identity of another person to gain employment as a registered nurse over a four-year period at several Indiana health care businesses, Harris said. The businesses included two in Columbus, he said.

Over a two-month investigation, Couch learned Whyde is believed to have worked primarily in an administrative role but also provided some patient care, Harris said.

Whyde had also worked as a licensed practical nurse, but law enforcement could not confirm that she had been licensed to do so, Harris said.

Whyde was arrested when a warrant was served at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday at a residence on Osage Court on Columbus’ west side, Harris said.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller praised the Columbus Police Department for its investigation leading to the arrest of Whyde.

The case not involves the impersonation of a nurse, but the identity theft of an unsuspecting Hoosier, Zoeller said.

“The public places trust in trained nurses to make medical decisions,” he said, and individuals who imper- sonate a nurse put patients at risk through their actions.

The attorney general said his office is continuing to work with the victim whose identity was stolen to ensure that no further harm is done.

Whyde has been turned over to the U.S. Marshal’s Office, assisted by the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General, Harris said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.