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Cross-Dresser Used Woman's Identity for 13 Years, Officials Say

The 51-year-old transient man had run up hundreds of thousands in medical costs at Mission Hospitals in Mission Viejo and Laguna Beach under a woman's name. The ordeal has been a "nightmare" for the victim, sheriff's official says.

A 51-year-old transient male cross-dresser accused of stealing a woman's identity and ringing up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs was scheduled to be arraigned Friday, an Orange County sheriff's spokesman said.

Perla Aldama Serrano was arrested just after 11 p.m. Sunday, according to Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

A deputy on patrol saw someone sleeping in a grassy area next to a building in the 1800 block of north El Camino Real in San Clemente, Amormino said.

The deputy told the man that it was against city ordinances to sleep outside in the area, Amormino said.

"The deputy originally believed this person was a woman" because he was wearing women's clothes, Amormino said.

Serrano gave the deputy the name of a south Orange County woman whose identity was stolen 13 years ago, Amormino said.

The deputy saw that Serrano was wearing a medical bracelet from San Clemente Hospital and called the hospital.

That call led investigators to discover he had been using the victim's name to obtain medical services over the years, Amormino said.

"He has been using this person's name to get medical services at the hospital and Mission Hospitals in Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo," Amormino said.

The victim, who lives in south Orange County, has had to go to court several times to straighten out arrest warrants issued in her name for misdemeanor legal infractions committed by Serrano for which he failed to show up in court, Amormino said.

"So it's been a nightmare for 13 years," Amormino said.

"The tally so far is well over $100,000 and could go into the hundreds of thousands of dollars" for the medical costs allegedly obtained by Serrano over the years, Amormino said.

The medical services were "not cosmetic" in nature, Amormino said.

Serrano was charged with two felony counts each of unauthorized use of personal identifying information and false impersonation as well as single felony counts each of second-degree burglary and grand theft, according to court records.

Serrano's arraignment has been rescheduled every day this week since Tuesday, according to records.

OC Mom March 17, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Good job OC Sheriff Department! Why were medical staff unable to figure out that this man was not a woman? They must not have done a thorough exam. Identity theft is a nightmare. Other than meth addicts, the other large offenders in identity theft are illegal immigrants assuming the identities of citizens. How embarrassing and even dangerous that this woman (the victim) had warrants issued for her arrest for unpaid bills that she didn't run up. This is definitely not a victimless crime. This must be why doctors offices are now asking for photo Identification along with your insurance card.
Hontas Farmer March 19, 2012 at 12:11 PM
I think you have the wrong mugshot. Every other source has the shot shown here. http://www.mugshots.com/Current-Events/Perla-Serrano.html Furthermore, check weather Serrano truly is a "man", or a transgender woman. The story sands like she has lived full time as a woman fen years.... not just for medical care. There is no excuse for what she did, but simply being trans is not a crime.
Hontas Farmer March 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM
sorry about the misspellings in my first comment. I meant to say...The story sounds like she has been living as a woman full time for many years,and there fore is a transgender woman and not a man.

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