(skip this header)

Westport News

Friday, August 29, 2014

westport-news.com Businesses

« Back to Article

Unhappy patient charged with impersonating Houston surgeon

Robert Stanto, Houston Chronicle
Updated 11:10 pm, Tuesday, August 20, 2013
  • Vector Thorn (Harris County Constable Pct. 4 High Tech Crimes Unit)
    Vector Thorn (Harris County Constable Pct. 4 High Tech Crimes Unit)

 

Larger | Smaller
Email This
Font
Page 1 of 1

The website looked authentic enough.

It listed the doctor's name and professional experience, it showed his office banner, and even included the doctor's reviews of some of his patients.

"Not so sudden death," one review stated. "Not my problem," said another. "Deal with it, junkie," and "kicked to the curb," other comments trumpeted.

The website also included an "about us" section for patients: "We recognize that this may be a stressful time for you, so we will do everything possible to make sure that we maximize your pain and suffering."

When a patient spotted the doctor's blunt reviews on the website and contacted him, the ruse was over, said Sgt. Gary Spurger of the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's High Tech Crimes Unit.

Now, 33-year-old Vector Thorn, a former patient of the doctor, is in custody and charged with felony online impersonation.

"He (Thorn) has an IT background and designed a website that looked like the doctor's," said Spurger, who declined to release the name of the physician. He would only say that he is a laparoscopic surgeon who practices in the FM 1960-Interstate 45 area of north Harris County.

Thorn, a former patient of the surgeon, was dissatisfied with the doctor and decided to put his information technology skills to work, according to Spurger.

He purchased the domain name - it was almost identical to the doctor's site - about a year ago. The bogus site went "live" about a month ago, investigators said.

After his arrest Tuesday, Thorn told investigators that he "was mad at the doctor's office ... mad at everything and was having issues, not just with the doctor but everybody else," Spurger said.

When the doctor heard about the website and contacted the constable's office for help to "find out who was damaging his reputation," Precinct 4 investigators employed a little IT work of their own.

They tracked the domain to determine who purchased it, found out who was administering the site and who placed the content online.

Thorn was being held Tuesday at the Harris County Jail in lieu of a $5,000 bond.

Laparoscopic surgery, also called minimally invasive surgery, bandaid surgery, or keyhole surgery, is a surgical technique in which operations in the abdomen are performed through small incisions as opposed to the larger incisions needed in laparotomy, according to Wikipedia.