Man Posing as a Nurse Practitioner Charged with Identity Theft

Former Bay Area resident was also charged with practicing medicine without a license.

Chad Brian Litz, a former San Francisco resident, has pled not guilty to four felony charges for practicing medicine without a license and one felony count of identity theft.

Litz was recently arrested in Florida, extradited to California and was arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court on March 30, 2017.

The Investigation and Enforcement Unit Hayward Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation served numerous search warrants during the investigation of Litz.

These warrants led to evidence indicating that he used forged documents from the state of Georgia and from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, which he allegedly used to obtain a volunteer nurse practitioner position at a Bay Area medical clinic.

Posing as a nurse practicioner, Litz allegedly treated patients, wrote prescriptions and dispensed narcotics to patients between January and April 2014. Litz was investigated following receipt of a complaint from employees at the clinic where he worked.

Litz’s preliminary hearing is set for April 11, 2017 in Department 20 of the San Francisco Superior Court. The case is being prosecuted by the San Francisco County District Attorney’s Office, Special Prosecution Unit.

 


Preliminary Hearing Scheduled for Capitola Unlicensed Therapist

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Christin Izett of Capitola will be in Santa Cruz County Superior Court December 12, 2016, for a preliminary hearing on charges of theft by false pretenses after she billed for counseling services that she was not licensed to provide.

An investigation conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit-Hayward Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) found that Izett, a former marriage and family therapist intern whose intern license expired in 2012, continued to offer counseling services and billed patients for those services. Between 2012 and 2014, while working for a clinic in Santa Cruz, Izett allegedly misled patients into believing that she was a licensed marriage and family therapist and billed them thousands of dollars.

The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office charged Izett with ten felony counts of theft by false pretenses.

The case was referred to DOI after the Board of Behavioral Sciences received numerous consumer complaints about Izett.

 

 


Registered Nurse Faces Sentencing on Felony Count of Insurance Fraud

Deborah Oldham, a Burlingame registered nurse, has pleaded guilty to one count of  insurance fraud and will appear in San Mateo County Superior Court on December 2, 2016 for sentencing. Print

Oldham was originally charged with nine felony counts, including insurance fraud and obtaining controlled substances by fraud.  Her plea was the result of a year-long joint investigation conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Hayward Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation and the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

The investigation showed that while working at Mills-Peninsula Health Services in 2013, Oldham documented administration of fentanyl and midazolam to patients, which resulted in charges to the patients’ insurance providers.

Oldham’s registered nurse license was placed on probation last summer after the California Board of Registered Nursing filed an accusation that Oldham made unintelligible entries pertaining to controlled substances.

The Board’s accusation and order can be viewed here:


Vocational School Owner to Face Charges for Fraudulent Documents, Witness Intimidation

Benard Thomas of Salinas will appear in Monterey County Superior Court on November 17, 2016, on two felony charges of filing false documents with the state and two felony charges of intimidating a witness.  Print

Thomas, a registered nurse, was the owner of TLC Institute of Nursing Education, which offered an unapproved vocational nursing program in Salinas. Thomas advertised that his program would allow students to take the test to become licensed vocational nurses and students paid up to $5,000 to enroll in the program. Because the program was unapproved, Thomas allegedly provided falsified documents, including training hours and employment verification, to the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians so that students would be allowed to take their licensure tests. During the investigation of Thomas, he allegedly tried to intimidate students from talking to investigators.

The Division of Investigation (DOI) Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Hayward Field Office worked with the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office to investigate Thomas after a student complained about Thomas’ school to the Board of Registered Nursing.

The Board of Registered Nursing will pursue disciplinary action against Thomas as appropriate.


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.


Former Acupuncturist Charged with Insurance Fraud

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A Half Moon Bay man will be in San Mateo County Superior court September 23, 2015 for arraignment on charges of practicing acupuncture without a license and preparing false insurance claims.

An investigation conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit-Hayward Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) found Mark Takata, a former acupuncturist whose license expired in 2010, continued to practice acupuncture and create insurance billing sheets for patients.   Between July 22, 2010 and November 8, 2014, Takata caused 145 insurance claims to be submitted for acupuncture treatments which he was not licensed to provide.  During that time, Takata worked at Newbold Chiropractic located at 455 Avenida Alhambra in Half Moon Bay.

The San Mateo District Attorney’s Office charged Takata with two misdemeanor counts for practicing acupuncture without a license and for using the title licensed acupuncturist, and with 13 felony counts for preparing false insurance claims and causing the claims to be submitted to insurance companies for payment.

The case was referred to DOI after receipt of a consumer complaint.  The California Acupuncture Board worked closely with DOI throughout the investigation


Santa Rosa Nurse Practitioner Pleads No Contest After Being Charged with Illegally Issuing Prescriptions

PrintA Santa Rosa nurse practitioner pleaded no contest last week after being charged with illegally issuing prescriptions to her family members.

An investigation led by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit in the Hayward Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found that nurse practitioner Mary Carroll-Ambrose, of Santa Rosa, wrote 48 prescriptions for opioid controlled substances to her husband, daughter and son. There were over 9,000 pills prescribed over a two-year period.

The pills included opioid painkillers such as Norco, hydrocodone and codeine.

As a nurse practitioner, Carroll-Ambrose’s practice and prescribing was supposed to be supervised by a physician at her employer, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, but her supervising physician had not authorized Carroll-Ambrose to prescribe narcotics to her family members and he was unaware of her prescribing activity.  Additionally, there were no records to indicate that Carroll-Ambrose had been treating family members in the normal course of practice at her employer.

The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office charged Carroll-Ambrose with four felony counts of illegally issuing prescriptions as a result of her writing prescriptions to her family which were allegedly not for a legitimate medical purpose and were not written in the usual course of her professional practice.  Carroll-Ambrose pleaded no contest to one felony count.

Carroll-Ambrose will appear in court for sentencing on October 14, 2015.

On June 15, 2015, the Board of Registered Nursing filed an Accusation to pursue disciplinary action against Carroll-Ambrose’s nursing license, which can be read here.


Registered Nurse Pleads Guilty to Obtaining Controlled Substances by Fraud

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A Castro Valley Registered Nurse has pled guilty in Alameda County Superior Court to obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

An investigation conducted by the Hayward Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found that between November 2013 and February 2014, while working at an Oakland hospital, Miae Shin illegally obtained the prescription drug Dilaudid. Shin tampered with Dilaudid bags to remove some of the medication and then returned the damaged bags to the hospital’s medication dispensing machines.

On April  2015 Shin was sentenced to pay restitution to the hospital and to 30 days in jail, which she is currently serving through ankle monitoring.

The Board of Registered Nursing has filed an Accusation to pursue disciplinary action against Shin’s nursing license.  The Accusation can be found here.


Santa Clara County Registered Nurse to Appear in Court

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A Santa Clara County Registered Nurse will be in court Thursday for a hearing related to her 2014 arrest for forgery and obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

Registered Nurse Margaret O’Connor will be in court for a felony advanced resolution hearing, the last step before entering a plea.

An investigation led by the Hayward Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found that while working at a local hospital, O’Connor obtained blank prescription pads and wrote 68 prescriptions for her son, her daughter, her husband and herself.  She used the names, signatures, and Drug Enforcement Agency numbers of three different physicians in order to obtain controlled substances without their knowledge.  O’Connor obtained a total of 1,000 Norco and 3,290 Percocet pills.

Last October, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office filed 38 felony counts, and a warrant was issued for O’Connor’s arrest.  She was arrested at her home by the Campbell Police Department and was charged with 38 counts of prescription forgery and obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

On October 29, 2014, the California Attorney General’s Office, on behalf of the Board of Registered Nursing, obtained a Superior Court order suspending her license and prohibiting her from practicing as a Registered Nurse until her criminal case is resolved.


Eleven Face Criminal Charges For Allegedly Forging Transcripts In An Attempt To Become Registered Nurses

Ten Licensed Vocational Nurses and one Psychiatric Technician are facing criminal charges in California for allegedly using fake transcripts to try to become Registered Nurses. All were arrested as a result of a multi-agency probe involving the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) Hayward Field Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The investigation discovered the 11 individuals used false and forged school transcripts from the Philippines in their Registered Nurse application in California and New Mexico. The individuals facing charges are: Voltaire Mendoza Alivia, Alain N. Andres, Leilani Orioque Baluyot, Ma Theresa Ungos Perez, Allen Dejamco Tan, Elma D. Viernes and Marissa T. Villaroman all from Orange County, and Mutya Fides Abitan Generoso, Lorna A. Ignacio, Leonara Villaflor Guevara and Daniel Endique Centeno all from Los Angeles County.

Charges were filed against the individuals by the District Attorney’s Office in their respective counties. The Division of Investigation worked with HIS and the IRS’ Criminal Investigation Division to pursue the case.

“Protecting consumers from unqualified and potentially harmful individuals is our top priority,” said Division of Investigation Chief Michael Gomez. “We would like to thank everyone for their hard work on this case and helping bring this forgery ring to light.”

Another woman, Joanne Keeney who resides in the Philippines, is suspected of supplying the falsified transcripts to the eleven individuals in this case. She is also accused of providing false transcripts to seven Registered Nurses that plead guilty to forgery earlier in the year. There is an outstanding warrant issued for her arrest.

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians has filed accusations against eight of the individuals and matters against the others are pending.