Man who duped hospital into thinking he was Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour convinced SAME facility he was Rush guitarist months earlier to avoid paying $72,000 in medical bills
- Phillip Schaeffer, 54, from Minnesota has been charged with fraud
- He was due in court on Tuesday but failed to show up as he’s currently in jail
- It’s alleged that he duped hospital staff on four separate occasions
- He claimed he was Alex Lifeson and three times that he was David Gilmour
- Each time he avoided bills by saying his agent would take care of them
A man who allegedly posed as not one, but two rock guitar legends, in order to dupe hospitals where he ran up expensive medical bills, has failed to turn up in court.
Phillip Michael Schaeffer, 54, from Monticello in Minnesota, allegedly conned staff at Dixie Regional Medical Center in December 2011 into believing that he was Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, 60.
When handed a $23,000 bill by the hospital, which has previously treated John Wayne, he said that his ‘agent’, Phil Michaels, would take care of it, according to police.
It’s claimed that he ran the same scam at the same hospital during two visits in November 2012 and February 2013 – but pretended to be 67-year-old Pink Floyd singer-guitarist David Gilmour.
When presented with a $49,000 bill he allegedly told staff that his agent Michaels would deal with it again, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Then, on April 20 2013 he allegedly pulled the same con at St. Cloud Hospital in Minnesota.
He told staff that he didn’t have health insurance.
He was treated and released, but not before he signed an autograph as David Gilmour for an employee’s son.
But not everyone at the hospital was fooled by the Monticello man’s alleged impression of the Cambridge-born prog rocker.
That suspicion led to the hospital flagging his patient chart in case he returned, hospital spokeswoman Jeanine Nistler told the St. Cloud Times.
The next day there was still discussion among security staff and so the hospital’s security supervisor reviewed security camera shots of Schaeffer entering the hospital and compared them to pictures of the singer/guitarist famed for songs including Comfortably Numb and Another Brick In The Wall.
He quickly established that the man wasn’t who he claimed to be.
When Schaeffer returned to the hospital four days later, he presented information that he claimed showed he had health insurance from Lloyd’s of London.
He also told staff that Pink Floyd was on tour in Canada and that he stopped in St. Cloud during a break to get medical treatment.
A security supervisor told a St. Cloud police officer who happened to be at the hospital that the man and he confronted Schaeffer, who admitted that he has been lying.
The man was taken to Stearns County Jail on a possible charge of theft by swindle, but released the next day while police gathered evidence to present to the county attorney’s office for possible charges.
He was charged in July 2013 with two second-degree felony counts of communications fraud but didn’t make Tuesday’s trial at the 5th District Court because he’s currently jailed in New Mexico for unknown reasons, according to reports.