Rocker Faces Fraud Charge ... Or is He Off His Rocker?

Man who claimed to be the drummer for White Zombie was picked up in Sausalito while Novato police were conducting their own investigation into a similar claim.

Sausalito police on Thursday arrested a man claiming to be the former drummer of the heavy metal band White Zombie on suspicion of defrauding a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Sausalito.

knew the man as well. Following the arrest, Sausalito police then learned Novato officers were interviewing the man claiming to be the drummer about a similar crime in Novato, said Sausalito Sgt. Bill Fraass.

The Alta Mira Recovery Center — which for many years was the Alta Mira Hotel — informed Sausalito police that a man claiming to be Phil Buerstatte, the band's former drummer, left treatment early and tried to pay $75,000 with a fraudulent check and bank account information, Fraass said.

A Novato rehabilitation center told Novato police "Buerstatte" had stayed there and was the subject of a bulletin issued by the National Association of Addiction Centers, Fraass said. The bulletin said someone identifying himself as Phil Buerstatte had defrauded at least four rehabilitation centers across the country by leaving the centers without paying, Fraass said. The two rehabilitation centers shared the information in the bulletin.

When the suspect was booked into the Marin County jail, a fingerprint examination revealed his true name is 46-year-old Loren Breckenridge, Fraass said.

Sausalito police are still determining 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.

Breckenridge has warrants for his arrest in Florida and Minnesota for theft and possession of stolen property, Fraass said.

"Breckenridge has an extensive criminal past including arrests in numerous states for forgery, passing fictitious checks, theft and vehicle theft," Fraass said.

The suspect was booked on felony charges of using an account card without approval, making or passing fictitious checks, obtaining credit with another person's identification, burglary, and a misdemeanor charge of giving a false identification to police.

"Buerstatte" is scheduled to be arraigned in Marin County Superior Court on Tuesday morning.

Buerstatte is listed as the drummer of the New York City-based band White Zombie between 1992 and 1994. The band was active between 1985 and 1998.

— Bay City News Service

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Craig Belfor September 01, 2012 at 11:30 PM
3 hots and a cot for free? He'll get that now, plus medical and cable.
Andy September 02, 2012 at 05:12 AM
Since when do you not pay upfront for rehab? Alta Mira is SO desperate to peg themselves as an elite facility for celebs and muckety mucks that they were probably swooning at the thought of a old rock 'n roller in the house, and were only too happy to talk about payment down the road.


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