The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit assisted the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in the investigation of a Hernando County man for Unlicensed Practice of a Healthcare Profession.
An investigator from the FDOH advised detectives that the man allegedly advertised his services on a website called El Clasificado, an advertisement website for the Hispanic community. The advertisement stated that the man could treat medical conditions such as: hernias, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, arthrosis, renal failure, Leukemia, Fibromyalgia, ulcers, vision problems, cysts, and many other health problems. The website shows a photo of the man in a white coat and the caption labels him a doctor.
The investigator from the FDOH advised that the man has never had a medical license, of any kind, in the state of Florida.
On Feb. 7, detectives made arrangements by telephone between a “patient” and the man to meet for an appointment. When asked where to meet, the man advised the patient that a friend allows him to use his house to see patients, and provided the patient with the address of a residence in eastern Brooksville. The two agreed to meet at the residence at 10:30 a.m. for the appointment.
When the patient arrived for the appointment, he was handed a clipboard and asked to complete papers, according to reports. He was then asked to pay $160.
The man checked the patient’s blood pressure and pulse and then placed a band around the patient’s head and had him hold a metal rod (both the band and the rod were connected to a machine on a table). Once turned on, the machine began making beeping noises. The man told the patient, that the device was testing his heart, brain, intestinal system, bones, nerves, and “everything else.”
When the test was complete, the man allegedly told the patient that “his cholesterol was on the way to being high” and that he “was not getting enough oxygen to his brain.” The man also told the patient that he has “50 percent fat in his liver and his gallbladder was not in good health.” The man also told the patient that he had Diabetes and Osteoporosis.
The man apparently told the patient he could cure his diabetes with several more visits, and only $2,000. He went on to say that the treatment would include injecting the patient with “his own blood.”
After this, detectives moved in and placed the man into custody. He was transported to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to be interviewed by detectives.
When interviewed by detectives, the man said he did not believe that he needed a license to practice medicine. He was apparently a lab technician in Cuba and when he moved to Florida he went to school to get a certificate for Iridology, herbology, and nutrition.
The man was charged with the following:
– Unlicensed Practice of a Health Care Profession
– Unlawful Use of a Two-Way Communication Device
His bond was set at $10,000.
Florida law identifies practicing medicine without a license as a felony. It is a felony offense for a person “to practice, attempt to practice, or offer to practice a health care profession without an active, valid Florida license [issued by the Department of Health] to practice that profession.”
If the person accused did not cause bodily injury, the is a third degree felony, with a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the alleged incident results in “serious bodily injury,” Unlicensed Practice of a Health Care Profession is upgraded to a second degree felony, with a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.