Chico RN Charged with Felony Elder Abuse of Patient who Died While Under her Care

Registered Nurse Allison Joann Guster, of Chico, will be arraigned on June 2, 2017, in Butte County Superior Court.  She has been charged with one felony count of elder abuse following the death of a patient that was in her care.  The charge filed by the Butte County District Attorney’s Office includes a seven year enhancement due to the age of the patient. 

Guster was a night-shift nurse, assigned to care for a patient recovering from surgery.  The investigation revealed that after the patient was found dead in her room early the next morning, Guster allegedly made false entries in the patient’s medical record to indicate that she had been monitoring the patient throughout the night.  Video surveillance showed that Guster had not been in the patient’s room for over six hours.

The case was investigated by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit, Sacramento Field Office.

The Board of Registered Nursing is reviewing the case and will take disciplinary action against Guster’s license as appropriate.

Click HERE to view the Butte County District Attorney’s Office press release.


Vocational Nurse Faces Discipline Following Conviction

Trista Sos, a licensed vocational nurse from Redding, faces disciplinary action by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians after she pleaded no contest and was found guilty of one misdemeanor count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and one misdemeanor count of petty theft.

Investigators from the Investigation and Enforcement Unit Sacramento Field Office within the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation investigated Sos after receiving information that she had been stealing narcotics from a convalescent home in Chico where she worked.

The investigation found that in May 2015, Sos received narcotics from staff who had worked the shift prior to hers, but at the end of her shift the narcotics were missing. The Butte County District Attorney’s Office initially charged Sos with three counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud and one count of petty theft.

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians has filed an accusation against Sos, alleging that she made false, incorrect, inconsistent or unintelligible entries in hospital records during her employment in Chico and also at a second employer in Red Bluff in October 2015.  The accusation also alleges that Sos self-administered marijuana without a physician’s recommendation from approximately 2014 to 2016.

The Accusation can be read here: Sos Accusation


Rohnert Park Vocational Nurse Arrested on Felony Prescription Drug Charges

Jennifer Renee Carter, of Rohnert Park, a licensed Vocational Nurse, was arrested on April 13, 2017, on two felony charges of prescription forgery and obtaining a prescription by fraud.

Investigators from the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI), Investigation and Enforcement Unit (IEU), Sacramento Field Office, obtained an arrest warrant for Carter on April 6th after IEU’s investigation found that she had stolen prescription forms from her employer, a Santa Rosa area hospital, and had written two oxycodone prescriptions for herself.

Carter’s alleged crimes were discovered when employees of a Walgreens pharmacy contacted the hospital to verify the authenticity of the prescriptions.  The physician whose signature was forged on the prescriptions was unaware of Carter’s actions.

Carter was booked into Lake County Jail without incident and has since been released on bond.  Her arraignment hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 12, 2017 at 8:00am.

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians is reviewing the case and will take disciplinary action against Carter’s license as appropriate.


Chiropractor Arrested for Unlicensed Practice of Medicine

Northern California woman used the designation of “D. PSc.” in her advertisements

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A Northern California chiropractor was arrested January 16, 2017, and charged with practicing medicine without a license.

Diem Thi Nguyen, of El Dorado Hills, is licensed by the State of California as a chiropractor and is not licensed as a medical doctor.  Nguyen advertised in a Sacramento newspaper that she could treat thyroid problems and diabetes and advertised neurological testing of patients.

Nguyen used the designation of “D. PSc.” in her advertisements.  “D.PSc.” is an acronym for Doctor of Pastoral Science, which the Pastoral Medical Association website describes as a “license.”  According to the Medical Board of California, Doctor of Pastoral Science is not recognized in California and does not authorize anyone to practice medicine or any of the healing arts in the state.

Nguyen was investigated by the Sacramento Field Office of the Health Quality Investigation Unit with the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation at the request of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the Medical Board of California. Investigators conducted an undercover operation at Nguyen’s clinic where she allegedly diagnosed and treated the undercover operative for an adrenal gland issue, insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances.

Nguyen has offices located in El Dorado and Sacramento counties. Her business is called New Life Integrity Wellness and is located on Golden Foothill Parkway, in El Dorado Hills, and on Laguna Spring Drive, in Elk Grove.

Nguyen’s next court appearance is scheduled for February 27, 2017 in Sacramento Superior Court.


Unlicensed Nurse Faces Charges in Placer and Sacramento Counties

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A Placer County woman faces criminal charges in both Placer and Sacramento counties after she allegedly posed as a Registered Nurse and used someone else’s professional license to gain employment at five area health care facilities.

Lara Noelle Bennett, of Meadow Vista, does not have a license to work as a Registered Nurse in California and she has been charged with a total of 16 counts by the District Attorney’s offices in the two counties.

An investigation was conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit Sacramento Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation. The investigation was initiated after an employer noticed inconsistencies in an application completed by Bennett. The employer then contacted the Board of Registered Nursing, which confirmed that Bennett was not licensed.

The investigation revealed that in 2015, Bennett earned over $15,000 from her alleged fraud. The licensee whose name Bennett used to gain employment was unaware that her identity had been stolen.

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office filed eight counts against Bennett, including four felony charges of identity theft, two felony charges of grand theft from an employer and two misdemeanor charges of unlawful use of the title Registered Nurse.

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office filed three felony counts of identity theft, three misdemeanor counts of practicing nursing without a license, two felony counts of grand theft and one misdemeanor count of theft.

Bennett was scheduled to appear in Sacramento County Superior Court on November 2, 2016, but failed to appear. Bennett also failed to appear in court in Placer County on October 21, 2016. Judges in each county issued bench warrants for her arrest and she was taken into custody on December 23, 2016.  She is currently being held in Sacramento County and is ineligible for bail.  She will be back in court in Sacramento County on January 11, 2017.

 


Nurse Charged with Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substances

Redding woman took opioid tablets from hospital.

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Licensed vocational nurse (LVN) Erin Bullock, of Redding, will appear in court on November 8, 2016, after the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office charged her with one felony count of unlawful possession of controlled substances.

The charge came as the result of an investigation conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit Sacramento Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation.  The investigation was initiated after the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians received information from Bullock’s employer.

The investigation revealed that while she was employed as a LVN at a hospital in Redding, Bullock removed numerous Norco tablets from the hospital for her own use.

Bullock was previously ordered to serve 45 days in jail for stealing medication from a patient while she was providing in-home care in 2015.  In that case, Bullock pled no contest to petty theft charges.

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians has filed an Accusation against Bullock, which can be read here: bullock.


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.


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:


Investigation Leads to Convictions for Illegal Practice of Veterinary Medicine

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Former Novato Veterinarian Charles Galvin pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of practicing veterinary medicine without a license and conspiracy to commit a crime last month in Marin County Superior Court. Galvin’s assistant, Gail Ann Caughie, of Sepastopol, also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

In December 2013, the Veterinary Medical Board requested that the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation conduct an investigation of Galvin after receiving complaints that he was practicing veterinary medicine, with the assistance of Caughie, at Veterinary Hospital of Ignacio in Novato. Galvin’s Veterinary Medicine License was revoked by the Veterinary Medical Board in 2009.

In May 2015, Galvin and Caughie were each charged with felony conspiracy to operate an unlicensed veterinary practice after an undercover investigation found the two were maintaining a veterinary office and were performing examinations, diagnosing and treating animals, performing surgery on animals, possessing drugs for the purpose of performing procedures on animals, maintaining medical records on animals, taking money from animal owners for compensation of treatment, and providing medication for animals.

Galvin and Caughie were also each charged with a felony for unlawful disposal of medical waste, for their improper disposal of used suture needles, and a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance, Ketamine.

As part of a plea deal with the Marin County District Attorney, Galvin was ordered to complete fifty hours of community service.  Caughie was ordered to complete one hundred hours of community service.  Galvin and Caughie were both ordered to pay restitution to the Veterinary Medical Board for the cost of the investigation and they will each be on probation for three years.

Galvin and Caughie were investigated by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit’s Sacramento Field Office.

Documents related to Galvin’s revocation can be read here.


Physician Assistant Charged with Writing Illegal Prescriptions

El Dorado Hills Woman Charged with 30 Felony Counts

shutterstock_231001237An arraignment is scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2015 in El Dorado County Superior Court for an El Dorado Hills physician assistant charged with 30 felony counts of unlawfully writing prescriptions and prescription forgery, along with 15 misdemeanor counts of prescribing controlled substances for personal use.

Wei-Ling Guo, a licensed physician assistant since 2002, was investigated by the Health Quality Investigation Unit – Sacramento Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation after the Physician Assistant Board received a consumer complaint and requested the investigation.

The El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office alleged that between December 2012 and February 2015, Guo illegally prescribed controlled substances to 15 fictitious patients which she then obtained from pharmacies in Sacramento and El Dorado Counties for her own use.

At Guo’s court appearance the Physician Assistant Board will request an order restricting Guo’s license and her ability to practice as a physician assistant during the duration of the criminal case.