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Man charged with impersonating doctor for free Nemacolin stay

A Michigan man accused of impersonating a doctor to con a posh mountain resort out of $16,146 in free lodging and amenities will spend Thanksgiving in the far less luxurious Fayette County Prison.

Jeffrey Paul Cochran, 41, of Scottville was arraigned Wednesday before North Union District Judge Wendy Dennis on charges of theft by deception and theft of services. He was jailed on $150,000 bond.

Cochran was nabbed Nov. 12 on an arrest warrant at his mother’s funeral, according to Pennsylvania State Police. Police took him into custody after he attended a 2 p.m. graveside service in Jamestown, Mich.

Police served the warrant during a traffic stop about four miles from the cemetery, said Trooper Stefani Lucas of the Uniontown state police barracks.

Cochran was wanted on arrest warrants from Pennsylvania and Nebraska for similar schemes in which police said he impersonated physicians to secure free lodging.

Cochran told the hotels that nearby hospitals would cover his bills, then fled when the ruse was revealed, according to police.

In Fayette, police said, Cochran passed himself off as a heart surgeon and golf pro during a stay May 15-28 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington.

Cochran posed as a Uniontown Hospital doctor to persuade the resort to set up a house account that another fictitious physician was to pay. He fled out a back door when employees caught on to the ploy, leaving an unpaid $16,146 bill, police said.

Months earlier, Cochran was accused of pretending to be a physician to secure free lodging at the Candlewood Suites in Lincoln, Neb., according to an arrest warrant.

He identified himself to staff as Dr. Jay Cochran and purported to be in town on business with St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, saying the hospital would pay his bill, the warrant says.

Cochran stayed for 47 days, checking out Feb. 12, 2013, without paying his $3,182 bill.

Liz Zemba is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-601-2166 or [email protected].


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