Articles Posted in Practicing Medicine Without a License

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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.

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A Jupiter man’s license to practice medicine was suspended in 2015 after he was allegedly found dispensing powerful pain medications to drug addicts, patients with mental-health issues and, in one case, a “morbidly obese” woman complaining she couldn’t bend over.

According to law-enforcement officials, the man offered to diagnose and treat an undercover Florida Department of Health investigator during an appointment on Aug. 21, 2015.

The 62-year-old was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on Friday and is facing a charge of practicing medicine without a license. He was released after posting a $3,000 bond.

At the time of the appointment, the man’s license had been suspended for six months after investigators allegedly found he had prescribed drugs such as oxycodone, Xanax and Dilaudid sometimes without performing adequate examinations and, in a few cases, failing to refer patients to addiction specialists, according to Florida Department of Health documents.

The investigation into the man dates back to 2010.

If you are facing charges of practicing medicine without a license, you must obtain legal representation as soon as possible to mitigate the serious potential consequences. It is essential to consult with a criminal defense lawyer immediately as these charges can negatively impact your life severely if not handled properly. Our South Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton can advise you of your rights and apply the best possible defense strategy for your specific charges.

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A woman accused of pretending to be a nurse and treating patients at a Lake County home healthcare facility has been arrested and charged with running an unlicensed assisted living facility.

According to Lake County sheriff’s detectives, this is not the woman’s first run in with the law.

Before she allegedly duped a home health care facility into believing she was a licensed nurse in May, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office arrested her in December for scheming to defraud and criminal use of personal information.

Records indicate that for the May charges, the woman was released on $2,000 bail.

nurse betch.jpgInvestigators claim that the woman went to the Lake County home health care facility to become an office manager in May, but during the interview she produced paperwork and documentation showing she was a licensed practical nurse.

The woman apparently made home visits to patients on several different occasions.

The woman was fired just weeks after she started her position, after an audit by the
Florida Department of Health and detective work by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office allegedly uncovered she was not licensed to practice in Florida. Moreover, detectives allege she made her own license.

She is accused of using another registered nurse’s license number for the state and placing her name on the license.

The nurse the woman is accused of impersonating works at Saint Petersburg General Hospital and shares an almost identical name with the woman.

Lake County sheriff’s investigators claim they are currently working to identify any additional patients in the community that may have been treated by the woman.

Just like doctors, attorneys, dentists, veterinarians and other professionals, anyone wishing to become nurse must first obtain a license. This is something the state of Florida requires, as well as all other states. Practicing nursing without a license is a serious crime that carries very harsh consequences, including incarceration, fines, probation and even restitution to any victims that suffered any harm.

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A suburban Lake Worth woman who was previously arrested for practicing dentistry without a license was arrested last week on similar allegations, according to authorities.

As of last week, she was being held at the Palm Beach County Jail with no bail.

The 34-year-old doctor was arrested in April on charges that she prescribed painkillers despite having a suspended license. According to Palm Beach County court records, she was scheduled to go to trial later this month.

The woman is the owner of Terrific Smiles, with offices in West Pam Beach and North Palm Beach.

The state Department of Health suspended the woman’s license in October, claiming that she posed a danger to the public with her previous behavior.

However, deputies recently learned that the woman was still practicing and according to patients, apparently performed substandard work.

dentist.jpegAccording to a sheriff’s arrest report, a woman claims the former doctor performed several root canals on her in March and April. The woman told police she suffered pain and was not given antibiotic medications for the pain following the surgeries.

The woman said she consulted other dentists, who advised that the root canals were not properly performed and would need to be done again.

According to investigators, she paid the woman $8,000 for the work.
Investigators apparently spoke to another patient who said he received dental care from the woman during May and June. The man claims the woman requested a cash payment from him though he had dental insurance.

He allegedly paid $3,141 for a root canal procedure.

The man told investigators that after experiencing ongoing pain he was referred by another dentist to a specialist. According to the report, the specialty dentist concluded that the root canals were not performed properly and advised the man to request a refund.

The man alleges that the woman did not return his calls.

Detectives have reason to believe there are additional victims, but no other patients have come forward at this time.

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1080262_stethoscope_2.jpgThe trial of an 18-year-old teen accused of impersonating a physician assistant and four counts of practicing medicine without a license is scheduled to commence Tuesday in Florida.

The teen was 17 at the time he allegedly worked at the Osceola Regional Medical Center in the emergency room, changing bandages, handling IVs and helping to conduct exams.

Following his arrest, the teen apparently told police that he performed CPR on a patient suffering from a drug overdose.

The teen went to the hospital in August 2011 to obtain a badge for his job as a clerk at a doctor’s office across the street. However, someone messed up the paperwork and the teen was somehow put in the system as a physician assistant.

An Osceola County Circuit Court Judge anticipates the trial to last three days.

The teen has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and has sought to get his confession thrown out of court.

He was arrested in September 2011 and was released on bail.

He was arrested again in January of this year for impersonating a police officer.

If you are suspected of practicing medicine without a license in Florida, you could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 per count. Criminal charges for practicing medicine without a license usually occur from partaking in any of the following activities:

• Prescribing medication without actually possessing the proper license to do so
• Using any abbreviations that may imply a person is a licensed professional, such
as M.D. or D.O.

• Medically diagnosing a patient
• Delivering any form of medical treatment to someone without holding a valid medical license
• Providing medical examinations, although lacking the appropriate medical license to be able to legally do so

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A woman who supposedly wanted a curvier body for cheap allegedly paid a woman posing as a doctor to inject her buttocks with cement, mineral oil and flat-tire sealant.

According to police, the suspect was born a man and identifies as a woman. She is accused of performing this toxic procedure on herself and at least one other.

The 30-year-old was arrested Friday and charged with practicing medicine without a license with serious bodily injury. She has since been released on bond.

Police investigators say the woman has supposedly been on the lam for a year, driving a black Mercedes and residing at various locations. An officer allegedly drove by one possible home for the woman nearly every day on his way to work, and apparently spotted the Mercedes parked outside on Friday which lead to the woman’s arrest.

The alleged victim told officers she paid $700 for a series of injections to her bottom in May 2010. She was apparently referred to the woman by a friend.

The woman was supposedly treated at two south Florida hospitals for severe abdominal pain and infected sores on her buttocks along with flu-like symptoms. According to reports, she failed to tell doctors the full story behind her sickness because she was embarrassed.

The woman’s mother apparently took her to a Florida hospital on the west coast, where doctors were supposedly told about the alleged procedure. The Department of Health was notified.

The woman claims she is still recovering from the surgery and is in too much pain to work.

Florida’s state laws require that medical procedures be performed only by licensed professionals. When a person performs a medical procedure without a license that causes serious bodily injury to another, they can ultimately be charged with a second-degree felony punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison. Anyone that engages in the illegal practice of medicine can be subject to various criminal consequences that have the potential to generate civil lawsuits depending on the facts associated with the medical matter. It is important to be aware that manslaughter can be charged if someone dies from an unlicensed medical procedure.

Practicing medicine without a license can cover a broad range of activity, but commonly criminal charges erupt from the following:

• Applying “M.D.”, “D.O.” or any other abbreviations that may indicate a person is a licensed professional for the purposes of treating a patient
• Prescribing medication to patients without a license to do so
• Medically diagnosing someone
• Delivering medical treatment to someone without holding a proper medical license
• Providing a medical examination without the necessary medical license required to give the examination
• A physician who practices medicine not covered by the license the physician possesses
• A former physician that continues to practice medicine after their license has been revoked
It is essential to consult with a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney immediately when facing charges associated with the illegal practice of medicine. These charges can negatively impact your life severely if not handled properly. The Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can best advise you of your rights while simultaneously putting forth the best defense unique to your specific charges.

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