Chiropractor Ordered Not to Practice After Felony Arrest

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Sacramento area man charged with practicing medicine without a license and grand theft. James Joseph Martin, of West Sacramento, has been ordered not to practice chiropractic after his arrest for eight felony counts of grand theft and one felony count of practicing medicine without a license.

To read the full release, click here.

Posted in Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation, Health Quality Investigation Unit, Medical Board of California, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office | Tagged , , ,

Nurse Practitioner Charged with Prescription Fraud, False Personation and Identity Theft

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Mount Shasta woman charged with felony and misdemeanor counts

Nurse Practitioner Naomi LeGate (aka Katy LeGate), of Mount Shasta, was  arraigned on August 2, 2016, after the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office charged her with nine felony counts and one misdemeanor count for false impersonation, identity theft and fraud, as well as issuing fraudulent and forged prescriptions and practicing medicine without a license.

These charges came as a result of a joint investigation between the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI).

The investigation was initiated after the California Board of Registered Nursing and DOI’s Investigation and Enforcement Support Unit discovered that LeGate might be in violation of her felony probation from Santa Cruz County.  In October 2014, LeGate was convicted of identity theft and prescription forgery in that county.  According to her probation terms, LeGate was prohibited from possessing prescription pads and prescribing medicine to patients.

The investigation revealed that while she was employed as a nurse practitioner at a medical office in Redding, LeGate wrote prescriptions despite the probationary terms from Santa Cruz County.

Additionally, LeGate did not have a Nurse Practitioner Furnishing Certificate and was unable to legally authorize or sign any prescription forms.  All prescriptions issued by LeGate required authorization and a signature from her employing doctor.   The investigation found prescriptions which were issued by LeGate and were not authorized by or signed by her employing doctor.

LeGate was arrested in Mount Shasta on July 19, 2016, as a result of a no-bail bench warrant issued by Santa Cruz County Superior Court.  She will appear in that court on August 24, 2016.

The Board of Registered Nursing issued a Cease Practice Notice to Legate on February 23, 2016.  She is currently prohibited from practicing as a Registered Nurse or a Nurse Practitioner.

The Shasta County District Attorney’s Press Release can be read here.

 

 

 

Posted in Board of Registered Nursing, Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit | Tagged , ,

Two Charged with Identity Theft and Unlicensed Practice of Engineering

Sacramento area father and son charged with felony and misdemeanor counts
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Igor Roman Kravets and his son Orest, owners of Kravets Development Group, in Carmichael, have been charged with five counts, including two felony counts for filing false documents with a public office and identity theft, and three misdemeanor counts for unlicensed practice of engineering, practicing a profession without proper license and false advertising.

The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists initiated an investigation which was conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit, Sacramento Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation.  The investigation led to a referral to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to submitting plans for a building project, the two also advertised that they were civil engineers and land surveyors, though neither holds a professional license.

Father and son were arraigned in Marin County Superior Court on July 25, 2016.

Posted in civil engineers, Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit, land surveyors, Sacramento Field Office, Uncategorized, Unlicensed Activity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Central Valley Physical Therapist Charged with Insurance Fraud

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Devra Ann Bommarito, of Stockton, was arrested and charged by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office with two felony counts of insurance fraud, one felony count of grand theft and one felony count of falsifying records.

Bommarito, who owns Xcel Physical Therapy in Ripon, was investigated by the Sacramento Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation. Investigators found that between 2009 and 2014, Bommarito continued to work as a physical therapist even though she had allegedly filed for and received disability benefits. Bommarito is accused of fraudulently obtaining over $100,000 in disability benefits.

Bommarito was arrested on February 26, 2016. She will next appear in San Joaquin Superior Court on June 1, 2016. At the court appearance, the judge will hear arguments regarding the Physical Therapy Board of California’s request for an order restricting Bommarito’s ability to practice as a physical therapist for the duration of the criminal proceedings.

The District Attorney’s Office press release can be read here:

Posted in Division of Investigation, Physical Therapy Board, Sacramento Field Office, San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office | Tagged

Fake Occupational Therapist Arrested

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Southern California woman charged with felony and misdemeanor counts.

A Long Beach woman has been charged with felony counts of identity theft and obtaining money by false pretenses, along with a misdemeanor count of practicing occupational therapy without a license.

Maria Dna Tan Espejo was arrested at her home in February 2016, after an investigation conducted by the Lakewood Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation.

Espejo is accused of initially falsifying an occupational therapist license issued by the state of Illinois, which she presented in order to gain employment as an occupational therapist in Long Beach in 2009. When her employer asked Espejo to provide her California license, Espejo allegedly created a falsified license using the name and license number of an occupational therapist from Northern California.

From 2009 through August 4, 2015, Espejo worked as an occupational therapist using the false licenses. During an audit by her employer in 2015, Espejo was asked to present her original occupational therapist license, but failed to do so. A subsequent investigation by her employer revealed discrepancies in the formatting of the falsified California and Illinois licenses which she had previously submitted. The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Board of Occupational Therapy was notified and confirmed that Espejo was not a licensee.

Investigators learned that between 2012 and 2015, Espejo earned wages in excess of $287,000. Espejo also caused her employer to bill Medicare, Medi-Cal and private health insurance companies for treatments that would not have been covered if it was known that they were provided by an unlicensed individual.

On February 26, 2016, Espejo pled not guilty to all counts. She will next appear in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 17, 2016. This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Posted in Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation, Lakewood Field Office, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office | Tagged

Licensed Vocational Nurse Charged in Embezzlement Scheme

Southern California woman allegedly falsified employment records for monetary gain.

PrintRuth Green, of Lancaster, has been charged with one felony count of grand theft embezzlement and 15 misdemeanor counts of falsification of records for creating false and fraudulent time cards and medical records to obtain wages from her employer.

Green, a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), was hired to provide in-home nursing care for a child, four days a week, seven hours a day, which she failed to do.  Family members reported that Green was not coming into the home to care for the child as scheduled.

The Department of Consumer Affair’s Division of Investigation (DOI) Chatsworth Field Office investigated the allegations and time-clock records revealed that Green was working as a nurse at a skilled nursing facility on the dates she reported working at the child’s home. DOI’s investigation found that Green allegedly falsified records over a four-month period to show she was present at the child’s home for 43 days when she was not.

Charges were filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.    Green’s next court appearance will be in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 4, 2016.

Posted in Chatsworth Field Office, Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation, Los Angeles County | Tagged , ,

Nurse Practitioner Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison

Central Valley man found guilty of inappropriately touching female patientsPrint

Jeffer Ymson Sabino, a former nurse practitioner and registered nurse, was sentenced last week to 10 years in state prison for inappropriately touching seven female patients during examinations at a small clinic in Avenal.

A Kings County Superior Court judge announced the sentence on April 26, 2016. In March 2016, Sabino plead no contest to seven counts of sexual battery.

Sabino was arrested in August 2013 and charged with more than 30 counts of sexual battery and forced penetration. His nurse practitioner and registered nurse licenses have been suspended by court order since September 2013. The California Board of Registered Nursing will now seek permanent revocation of the licenses.

The sentence was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation Central Valley Field Office, the Avenal Police Department and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

Posted in Board of Registered Nursing, Central Valley Field Office, Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation | Tagged ,

Cosmetology School Owner Pleads No Contest to Felony

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Fremont woman accepted money in exchange for fraudulent educational documents.

Nancy Chan Fong, of Fremont, pleaded no contest to one felony count of offering forged or fraudulent documents that were filed with the State of California.

The February 9, 2016 plea agreement is the result of an investigation conducted by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation at the request of the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. The Division’s Hayward Field Office worked with the U.S. Department of Customs and Immigration Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Fong owned Nan’el Beauty College, in San Jose, but the school closed in February 2012.  Then, in 2014, the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology suddenly received 23 applications for licensure that included documents dated 2011 and 2012 from Nan’el Beauty College.

The investigation showed that four of the 23 applicants from Nan’el had not been in the U.S. during the time they claimed they had attended Fong’s school.  Fong admitted that after she closed Nan’el she accepted money from those four individuals in exchange for fraudulent educational documents which showed they had completed the required number of instructional and practical hours to obtain cosmetology licenses.

Fong was initially charged with four additional felony counts, but those counts were dropped as part of a plea agreement with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology will pursue disciplinary action, as appropriate, against Fong’s establishment license and cosmetologist license.

Posted in Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, Division of Investigation, Hayward Field Office | Tagged , , , , , ,

Investigators Seek More Victims After Physician Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter

Southern California doctor allegedly failed to address surgical complications which led to patient’s death.

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Physician Edwin Hyun-Kyu Choi, of Arcadia, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient.  Investigators are asking any other victims or individuals with additional information to come forward.

The charge against Choi is the result of an investigation conducted by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation following the death of a patient at Choi’s Celine Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, in Buena Park.

Investigators from the Division’s Health Quality Investigations Unit (HQIU) Tustin Field Office found that in September of 2012, Choi performed abdominal liposuction on a female patient, but allegedly failed to address complications that arose from the surgery which resulted in the patient’s death.

An unlicensed woman assisted Choi during the liposuction.  The unlicensed woman allegedly acted as the anesthetist during the procedure and also cared for the patient the following day.

The day after the surgery, the patient experienced pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath and she returned to Choi’s clinic.

Rather than referring the patient to an emergency room or calling for an ambulance, Choi allegedly kept the patient at the clinic for 19 hours.  During that time, lab work was completed which showed the patient had sepsis and acute renal failure.  An employee eventually drove the patient to a hospital where she died from septic shock.

Choi appeared in Orange County Superior Court on October 27, 2015, to face one felony count of involuntary manslaughter.  During the arraignment, the judge denied the Medical Board of California’s request for an order to restrict or suspend Choi’s ability to practice as a medical doctor during the duration of the criminal case.  Choi will be in court again on February 26, 2016.

Earlier this year, Choi was charged with two misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine in Los Angeles County.  An investigation conducted by HQIU’s Operation Safe Medicine Unit found that Choi had allowed a registered nurse to offer Botox, laser hair removal and other medical procedures without his supervision at Eastern Beauty Medical Spa in San Gabriel.

That story can be read here.

In that case, Choi was ordered to complete community service as part of the court’s deferred entry of judgment program.

In October 2015, the Medical Board of California filed an Accusation against Choi charging him with gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, incompetence, aiding and abetting unlicensed activity and failing to maintain adequate and accurate records.  The Medical Board of California is seeking to obtain an Interim Suspension Order to restrict Choi’s license.

A copy of the Medical Board Accusation can be read here.

More possible victims in Choi’s case are being sought.  Complaints against Choi can be filed at http://www.mbc.ca.gov/Consumers/Complaints/.

Anyone with additional information about Choi can contact the Medical Board.

Consumers can file complaints against all Department of Consumer Affairs’ licensees at http://www.dca.ca.gov/consumer/complaints.shtml.

The Orange County District Attorney’s press release can be read here.

Posted in Division of Investigation, Health Quality Investigation Unit, Medical Board of California, Tustin Field Office | Tagged , , ,

Physician Sentenced to 30 Years to Life for Murder

PrintSouthern California doctor was convicted of second-degree murder for over-prescribing pain medications. 

SACRAMENTO – A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered osteopathic physician Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng to serve 30 years to life in prison in the death of three patients.

The sentence follows Tseng’s conviction in October 2015, when a jury found her guilty of second-degree murder for over-prescribing pain medications which resulted in patient deaths.

Tseng’s case, filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, marks the first time in the U.S. that a doctor was convicted of murder for over-prescribing medications.  The conviction has been hailed as a landmark case that may have far-reaching effects on the way doctors prescribe pain medications.

At least nine of Tseng’s patients died over a three year period, but murder charges were only filed in three of those deaths. Tseng was notified that patients had died in 2007 and 2008, but continued to over-prescribe and three additional patients died in 2009.

Tseng was also convicted of 19 counts of illegally writing prescriptions, including two prescriptions she wrote for undercover investigators, and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

Investigators from the California Department of Consumer Affairs and special agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency investigated Tseng after pharmacies reported concerns about Tseng’s prescribing and the coroner’s office made reports of the suspicious patient deaths.  After investigators contacted Tseng, she began to falsify the records of some of the patients who had died.

Tseng’s osteopathic physician license had been suspended since March 14, 2012.  In a 118-page accusation dated February 3, 2012, the Osteopathic Medical Board charged Tseng with gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, dishonest and corrupt acts, excessive prescribing, unprofessional conduct, false documentation, issuing controlled substance prescriptions for an illegitimate purpose, incompetence, aiding and abetting unlicensed activity and failing to maintain adequate and accurate records.

Angie Burton, executive director of the Osteopathic Medical Board, said, “The board’s mission is to protect consumers and promote the highest professional standards in the practice of osteopathic medicine. The board vigorously investigated and pursued this case and believes that justice has been done.”

To view the Osteopathic Medical Board Accusation and Surrender, click here.

To view the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s conviction press release, click here.

To view the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s sentencing press release, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Division of Investigation | Tagged , , , , ,