Clovis Vocational Nurse Arrested and Charged with Theft from an Elder Adult

Licensed vocational nurse Michael Anthony Larkins, of Clovis, was arrested June 9, 2017, on one felony charge of theft from an elder adult.

Larkins’ alleged crime was discovered when a credit card company reported suspicious credit card activity to the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Investigation (DOI).

Investigators from the Division’s Investigation and Enforcement Unit, Central Valley Field Office, learned that Larkins used a credit card belonging to a 92 year old patient who lived at the acute care center where Larkins worked.

Larkins is believed to have used the credit card to withdraw money from ATMs 11 times over a six day period in October 2016 and to make online purchases four times in the following two weeks, resulting in over $3,000 of fraudulent charges.

DOI investigators obtained surveillance video showing Larkins using some of the ATMs where the money was withdrawn.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office charged Larkin with one felony charge of theft from an elder adult.

DOI investigators booked Larkins into Fresno County Jail without incident and he was arraigned on June 23, 2017, when he pleaded not guilty to the charge.  His next court date is scheduled for July 28, 2017.

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians have completed a review of the case and are pursuing disciplinary action against Larkins’ license.



Physician and Nurses Face Felony Charges

Central Valley medical spa staff accused of unlawful practice of medicine.

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A Central Valley physician and three registered nurses have all been charged with felonies for the unlawful practice of medicine.

Physician Mark Nazarian, of Fresno; and registered nurses Jaclynne Burris, of Fresno; Crystal Bartolome, of Clovis; and Elsa Ortiz, of Fresno; were all charged with felonies by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office following an investigation conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit Central Valley Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation.

Nazarian, who is the medical director at Mystique Medical Spa and Wellness Center on North Howard Street in Fresno, was charged with one felony count of aiding and abetting the unlawful practice of medicine after undercover operations showed that the registered nurses working there were administering Botox to patients who had not been given an appropriate prior examination by a doctor or nurse practitioner.

The registered nurses were also found to allegedly be illegally selling prescription-only medications including  Latisse and Retin-A.  Burris was charged with three felony counts of unlawful practice of medicine, Bartolome was charged with four felony counts of unlawful practice of medicine and Ortiz was charged with five felony counts of unlawful practice of medicine.  Mystique Medical Spa and Wellness Center is owned by chiropractor Samuel Stephen Krikorian Jr.

Nazarian, Burris, Bartolome and Ortiz will appear in Fresno County Superior Court on December 12, 2016.  The California Board of Registered Nursing and the Medical Board of California will pursue disciplinary action, as appropriate, against the licensees.


Clovis Nurse Charged with Multiple Felony Counts, Including Practicing Medicine Without a License

PrintJennifer Steinbach, a registered nurse from Clovis, will appear in Fresno County Superior Court on December 8, after being charged with 29 felony counts. Charges include 12 counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, 16 counts of making false statements in prescription records, and one count of practicing medicine without a license.

The charges are the result of an investigation led by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Central Valley Field Office.

The investigation found that while employed at a hospital in Fresno, Steinbach allegedly obtained controlled substances including Dilaudid, Diazepam, Morphine, and Hydrocodone illegally.

Steinbach has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The California Board of Registered Nursing will pursue disciplinary action, as appropriate, against Steinbach’s license.


Former Registered Nurse Arrested on New Drug Charges

Woman was already in custody for violating probation

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New charges have been filed in Merced County Superior Court against former Registered Nurse Danielle Angelucci, of Hollister, after an investigation revealed that she allegedly stole fentanyl from a Los Banos hospital in 2014.

Angelucci has been charged with one felony count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and one felony count of making a false statement in a record related to controlled substances.  An arrest warrant was issued for Angelucci, but investigators found that she was already in custody in Santa Clara County, after violating the terms of her criminal probation in that county.

Earlier this year, Angelucci pled guilty to two felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and was placed on probation, after an investigation showed that she stole fentanyl and morphine from a hospital in San Jose in 2013.

The new charges were the result of an investigation conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Central Valley Field Office within the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation.

Angelucci surrendered her Registered Nurse license in February 2016.  The Accusation and Order by the Board of Registered Nursing can be read here.


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.


RN Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of Controlled Substances

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Registered Nurse Tamara Maxine Smith, of Mammoth Lakes, pleaded guilty this week to one misdemeanor count of illegally possessing controlled substances.

As part of Smith’s plea agreement with the Mono County District Attorney’s Office, four felony charges including embezzlement and obtaining controlled substances by fraud were dismissed.  Smith entered her guilty plea on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

The plea was the result of an investigation led by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit’s Central Valley Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation on behalf of the Board of Registered Nursing.

The investigation was initiated after it was discovered that Smith, who worked as a registered nurse in the emergency department at Mammoth Hospital, had removed controlled substances, but failed to account for their disposition.

During August of 2013, Smith obtained controlled substances including Dilaudid, Fentanyl, Versed and ketamine, which were supposed to be administered to patients. However, Smith failed to account for disposition of these dangerous drugs.  The hospital requested that Smith submit to a drug screen and she was terminated after her test results returned positive for codeine, morphine and hydromorphone (Dilaudid).

Smith has a prior disciplinary history with the Board of Registered Nursing and previously received probation for writing fraudulent prescriptions to obtain narcotics for her own use.

The Board of Registered Nursing filed an accusation against Smith, which resulted in the surrender of her license effective July 27, 2015.

The accusation and decision can found at http://rn.ca.gov/public/rn348483.pdf.


Visalia Pharmacist Sentenced for Embezzlement, Forgery

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KINGS COUNTY – A Visalia pharmacist has been sentenced in Kings County Superior Court to three years’ probation, community service and addiction treatment courses for illegally obtaining controlled substances, forging prescriptions, and embezzlement.

Emily Clark was investigated by the Central Valley Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) – Investigation and Enforcement Unit after it was reported that she had stolen numerous narcotic medications from facilities in Hanford and Selma. Clark gained access to narcotics including Methadone, Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Soma, Demerol, and Dilaudid through her job as a pharmacist.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Clark had also forged prescriptions in order to obtain Adderall, by using the names, signatures, and Drug Enforcement Administration numbers of two physicians without their knowledge. Investigators also learned that Clark was previously arrested by the Fresno Police Department in 2013 for felony charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale or distribution and transportation of controlled substances with intent to sell or distribute. Clark will appear in court in Fresno County on June 3, 2015 related to those charges.

DOI Investigators arrested Clark on March 28, 2014. She initially faced 25 felony counts for embezzlement, theft, identity theft, burglary, forgery, passing false prescriptions, illegally obtaining controlled substances, possession of controlled substances, and possession of controlled substances for sale.

The sentence was the result of Clark’s No Contest plea to four felony counts on April 21, 2015.

The Board of Pharmacy has obtained a court order restricting Clark’s ability to work at any place where pharmaceuticals are the chief item of sale. The court order can be reviewed here.

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See News Release here.


Former Registered Nurse Sentenced to Jail, Probation

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FRESNO – A former Registered Nurse has been sentenced in Fresno County Superior Court to 40 months in jail, and will be placed on probation upon his release following his no contest pleas to felony charges of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, embezzlement and burglary.

An investigation led by the Central Valley Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found that in February 2015 Jason Burham Smith removed and tampered with Fentanyl and Morphine vials while employed at LDAC Vascular Centers in Fresno. Video surveillance from the facility showed Smith removing the narcotics from the narcotics cabinet, although he was not authorized to do so.

Last month, Smith entered a no contest plea to two felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, embezzlement and burglary which occurred during his employment at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno. He also pled guilty to one enhancement count of committing a crime while released on bail in a previous case.

In March 2015, Smith surrendered his Registered Nurse license to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) as part of a stipulated settlement. In January 2015, the BRN filed an Accusation against Smith’s license for failing to properly document the administration and wastage of prescription medicine and illegally obtaining controlled substances for personal use.

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See News Release here.


Former Registered Nurse Arraigned on Felony Charges

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FRESNO – A former Registered Nurse has been arraigned on felony charges of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

An investigation led by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation Central Valley Field Office found that in February 2015 Jason Burham Smith had removed and tampered with Fentanyl and Morphine vials while employed at LDAC Vascular Centers in Fresno. Video surveillance from the facility showed Smith removing the narcotics from the narcotics cabinet, although he was not authorized to do so.

Smith appeared in Fresno County Superior Court Monday and pled not guilty to two felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud. He also pled not guilty to one enhancement count of committing a crime while released on bail in a previous case. His bail was set at $190,000.

In March 2015, Smith surrendered his Registered Nurse license to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) as part of a stipulated settlement. In January 2015, the BRN filed an Accusation against Smith’s license for failing to properly document the administration and wastage of prescription medicine and illegally obtaining controlled substances for personal use.

Smith’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 27, 2015.

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 The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California Consumers. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.dca.ca.gov.