Patient Trashes Surgeon on Fake Website
Amateur web designer charged with felony online impersonation.
Published: September 5, 2013
Philip Leggett, MD, apparently angered the wrong guy. Vector Thorn, an amateur web designer and former patient, wasn't happy with the care he received and created a fake website to attack the online reputation of the general surgeon from Houston, Texas.
Mr. Thorn bought the domain name philipleggett.com in order to develop a bogus website that resembled the legitimate drleggett.com, according to Sgt. Gary Spurger of the Harris County high tech crimes unit.
Mr. Thorn recreated the surgeon's office banner and listed his professional experience. He posted fake comments about patients that were clearly aimed to inflame: "Not so sudden death" and "Not my problem" and "Deal with it, Junkie" and "Kicked to the curb." He also created an "About Us" section that stated, "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."
Sgt. Spurger says Mr. Thorn purchased the domain in September 2012, but didn't start posting offensive remarks until June. The bogus website remained active for several months before a patient alerted Dr. Leggett to its existence. He immediately contacted the authorities, who traced the online activity to Mr. Thorn.
The IT instigator feigned innocence when approached by Sgt. Spurger, but eventually admitted his wrongdoing when presented with the electronic trail that led detectives to his door.
Mr. Thorn was arrested and freed on $5,000 bail. He's charged with felony online impersonation. Dr. Leggett was not available for comment.
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