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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Denis Jason Palmer and the retail chain Wal-Mart. They get the award for the following.

ROYAL PALM BEACH — The name on the white lab coat, résumé and patient thank-you cards all read Dr. Sean Craig Fein.

But the man who for nearly a year prescribed eyewear for scores of customers at a Wal-Mart was no Dr. Fein.

Denis Jason Palmer, 43, allegedly convinced nearly a dozen optometry clinics in Palm Beach and Broward counties that he was Dr. Fein. He was charged with practicing optometry without a license, scheme to defraud and grand theft, sheriff's spokesman Paul Miller said.

More than 20 grams of marijuana and large amounts of OxyContin were found in the apartment, sheriff's deputies said.

Palmer was hired Dec. 28 last year to work part-time as an optometrist at the Wal-Mart, in the 9000 block of Belvedere Road. He collected more than $15,000 in salary while impersonating Fein, deputies said.

Palmer, who worked as a licensed optometrist in New York several years ago, used Fein's résumé, insurance information and colleague referrals to get hired at the Wal-Mart and nearly a dozen other stores ranging from Target to Walgreens, deputies said.

Palmer once worked with Fein, who is licensed in Florida and New York, deputies said.

Detectives said Palmer's scheme began to unravel Nov. 16 when he illegally parked in a handicap spot outside the Wal-Mart.

Sheriff's Detective Gabe Carino said a deputy who happened to be in the parking lot spotted Palmer parking and followed him into the store.

An employee told the deputy that Palmer was Dr. Sean Fein. But when the deputy examined his driver license, the name was Palmer's, Carino said.

After an investigation that lasted weeks, deputies arrested Palmer and his girlfriend, Nadia Edita Becovic, 29.

The money that Palmer received for illegally practicing as an optometrist was allegedly funneled through a company, Florida Eyes Inc. Becovic is listed as the owner of the company, Carino said.

Palmer was able to operate under the radar because "people don't usually question someone who they think is a doctor," Carino said.

"You've got to ask questions," he added.

You would think Wal-Mart and the other employers who hired Palmer as an optomertrist would do as simple a thing as a background check. Want to bet someone files a lawsuit over this? The employers have themselves to blame if they are found in that situation.

As to Denis Jason Palmer, he's just a con artist and along with Wal-Mart they are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

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