University of Iowa Hospital Admin Used Stolen Identity for Over 30 Years

The victim was wrongfully convicted of identity fraud himself and spent 428 days in jail and 147 days in a mental health facility.

University of Iowa Hospital Admin Used Stolen Identity for Over 30 Years

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IOWA CITY — A man who lived under an assumed name for over 30 years spent more than a decade working as an IT administrator for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC).

According to People, in 2019, the real William Donald Woods learned someone was accumulating debt using his name. He walked into a bank in Los Angeles with his Social Security card and state-issued identification and said his identity had been stolen. Iowa federal prosecutors said Woods, who was homeless at the time, was unable to answer a set of security questions connected to the account and the bank called the Los Angeles Police Department.

The LAPD contacted who they believed to be the real William Woods in Wisconsin, who then faxed them what prosecutors now say were “a series of phony identification documents.” The man told police he did not authorize anyone in California to access his bank accounts.

Police arrested Woods on felony identity theft and false impersonation charges under the name Matthew David Keirans — the name of the man who had stolen his identity. Woods was held without bail at the LA County Jail. Prosecutors sought a competency exam when he continuously insisted he was the real William Woods, Omaha World-Herald reports. He eventually pleaded no contest, acknowledging he would likely be convicted at trial. In total, he spent 428 days in jail and 147 days in a mental health facility where he was prescribed psychotropic medication, court records state.

When Woods was released from jail in Aug. 2021, he contacted Wisconsin authorities and credit reporting agencies to report that Keirans was using his identity. In Jan. 2023, Woods found out Keirans was working at UIHC and contacted the security department. The hospital referred Woods’ complaint to the University of Iowa Police.

During a July 2023 interview with a detective, Keirans called Woods “crazy” and said he “needed help and should be locked up.” During Woods’ incarceration, prosecutors said Keirans called the LAPD and the city’s district attorney’s office numerous times to request updates on Woods’ prosecution.

“Both Williams acknowledge the other persons’ existence and claim the other person is responsible for their identity being stolen,” wrote the University of Iowa detective who investigated the dispute.

Keirans’ scheme was ultimately exposed after DNA evidence proved a man in Kentucky — who both men claimed to be their father — was Woods’ father. When police confronted Kierans about the DNA evidence, he reportedly said, “My life is over” and “Everything is gone.”

Identity Thief Worked as University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Admin for 10 Years

Keirans and Woods first met in 1988 while working together at a hot dog cart in Albuquerque, New Mexico. According to court documents, after 1988, there is no record of Keirans using his real name, date of birth, or Social Security number. In 1990, he got a job in Colorado using Woods’ name and opened a bank account. In 1994, he moved to Salem, Ore., where got married and had a son. The couple eventually settled in Wisconsin where Keirans worked at the corporate headquarters of a department store chain.

In 2013, using falsified documents, Keirans was hired at UIHC. He worked at the hospital during the week and made the four-hour drive back to Wisconsin on the weekends. When the pandemic hit, he was able to work remotely. While working remotely, authorities said Keirans “was the key administrator of critical systems” within the hospital’s online infrastructure and had the highest possible access privileges.

Between Aug. 2016 and May 2022, Keirans used Woods’ identity to take out eight vehicle and personal loans totaling more than $200,000 from two Iowa credit unions. He also kept deposits at the national bank where the real Woods was arrested in his first attempt to report him.

Tony Morfitt, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney in northern Iowa, said federal prosecutors have provided no information about what precipitated the name change. Keirans told authorities he ran away from home at 16, stole a car in San Francisco, and got arrested in Oregon but never appeared in court, according to CBS. He used a genealogy website to research Woods’ family history and used that information to fraudulently obtain a copy of Woods’ Kentucky birth certificate.

“I believe Matt’s motivation was simple: to create the family and home he did not have in his youth,” his wife, Nancy Zimmer, wrote in a letter to the court on his behalf.

Keirans pleaded guilty on April 1 to one count of false statement to a national credit union administration insured institution and one count of aggravated identity theft. He faces two to 32 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine.

A hearing is set for next week in California to vacate Woods’ conviction.

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About the Author

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Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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