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White Zombie Imposter on Nationwide Rehab Scam Tour

A man claiming to be the heavy-metal band's former drummer got caught writing hot checks at a string of luxe rehabs.

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The psychoholic world of White Zombie.
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By Hunter R. Slaton

09/04/12

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A man claiming to be Phil Buerstatte, former drummer of the 1980s and 1990s heavy-metal band White Zombie, was arrested over the weekend in Sausalito, Calif., after a string of “detox and dashes” at four rehabs around the country, including the Bay Area’s Alta Mira and Reflections, in Novato, Calif. (which soon will be featured in The Fix’s Rehab Review). Sausalito police department Sgt. Bill Fraass said the supposed former rocker had checked himself into Alta Mira, but split early after trying to pay for treatment with fake bank account info and a hot check in the amount of $75,000.

Reportedly, after leaving Alta Mira, the imposter traveled 20 miles north up the 101 to Reflections, where he tried to run the same scam. But Reflections CEO Louise McCallion got wise to his scheme, due to, in her words, "increasingly erratic and suspicious behavior, and inability to provide proper Identification and other supporting documentation—and having confirmed receipt of at least three fraudulent checks." So McCallion called the cops, who—having heard about the scammer from Alta Mira—hauled him off in handcuffs. "I am glad to have had the support of the Novato police department and fellow treatment centers to finally end this cycle of abuse of facilities dedicating to helping people [suffering from] drug and alcohol addiction," McCallion told The Fix.

But it gets weirder. After “Buerstatte” was booked into the Marin County jail, a fingerprint exam revealed his real name to be Loren Breckenridge, a 46-year-old with warrants out for his arrest in Florida and Minnesota (big rehab states, both) for theft and possession of stolen property. But it’s not as much of an open-and-shut case as it might seem: According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, the cops still are trying to work out “whether the suspect is actually Phil Buerstatte, someone else using his name, or is really Loren Breckenridge and uses Phil Buerstatte as a stage name”—all of which sounds like a great, head-clutchingly confusing premise for a new song by White Zombie founder Rob Zombie, if the horrorcore band ever gets back together.

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