Former Iowa hospital administrator pleads guilty to decades-long identity theft scheme

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCAU) – A former administrator at an Iowa hospital who was accused of assuming a different man's identity for over three decades pleaded guilty to identity theft Monday.

Matthew David Keirans, 58, from Hartland, Wisconsin, has been convicted of one count of false statements to a National Credit Union Administration-insured institution and one count of aggravated identity theft, according to the Department of Justice.

His actions resulted in his victim being falsely imprisoned for over a year, the DOJ said.

According to evidence in the case, Keirans worked with his victim in the late 1980s at a hot dog stand in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Keirans, who allegedly assumed the man's identity for over 30 years, was accused of getting fake documents, such as a Kentucky birth certificate, in the man's name.

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Keirans was hired in 2013 as a "high-level administrator" at a hospital in Iowa City. He is accused of giving the hospital fake credentials, including a false I-9 form, social security number and birth date. Once hired, he worked remotely from Wisconsin.

From August 2016 to May 2022, Keirans allegedly took out loans totaling over $200,000 from two Iowa credit unions using the victim's personal information. In 2019, the victim, who was homeless then, found that his credit was being used, leaving him with large amounts of debt.

The victim went to the Los Angeles branch of the national bank to dispute the debt and request that his accounts be closed. After presenting his real identification, he was asked security questions, which he was unable to answer. As a result, the bank called the Los Angeles Police Department.

Officers contacted Keirans, who then faxed the LAPD fake documents, resulting in the arrest of the victim on two felony charges. He was held without bail at the Los Angeles County Jail.

The victim continued to deny that he was Keirans while in custody. A judge eventually decided he was mentally incompetent to stand trial, sending him to a psychiatric hospital.

The victim pleaded no contest in March 2021 to the two charges in exchange for a "time-served" sentence and immediate release. He spent a total of 428 days in jail and 147 days in a mental hospital.

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In January 2023, after continued efforts to clear his name, the victim was able to contact the hospital where Keirans worked. After the hospital reported the complaint to law enforcement, a detective eventually uncovered Keirans' scheme.

The detective also obtained DNA evidence showing that Keirans was not the son of a man in Kentucky (as Keirans claimed) but rather that the victim was.

In July 2023, the detective interviewed Keirans, who said the victim was "crazy" and "needed help and should be locked up," according to the DOJ. He ultimately admitted to his scheme after being shown the DNA evidence. He also admitted to giving false documents to officials "to aid in the arrest, prosecution, and incarceration of the victim."

Keirans is in the custody of the U.S. Marshal until his sentencing at a later date. He faces up to 32 years in prison (followed by supervised release) and a possible $1.25 million fine.

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