Former Engineer Pleads to Felony for Filing False Documents

Former engineer Adebowale Sodipo pleaded no contest in April to one charge of filing false documents with a public office. Sodipo initially faced four felony counts and his trial had been set to begin on May 21, 2018, in San Mateo County Superior Court. Sodipo owned Carona Engineers in San Ramon.

Department of Consumer Affairs’ Investigation and Enforcement Unit (IEU) led an investigation into Sodipo on behalf of the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists after he was alleged to have continued working as a civil and structural engineer during time periods that his licenses were not valid due to nonpayment of the renewal fees.

The investigation by IEU’s Hayward Field Office found that from June 2013 to February 2015 and from June 2015 to December 2015, Sodipo’s civil and structural engineer licenses were expired for nonpayment of state licensing renewal fees. During those time periods, Sodipo allegedly submitted one set of building plans to the City of South San Francisco and three sets of plans to the City of Belmont, which all included engineering stamps that had been altered to indicate that his licenses had been renewed.

Sodipo’s civil and structural engineer licenses were revoked effective April 11, 2018. The Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists filed accusations against Sodipo alleging breach of contract and practicing engineering without authorization in relation to the events in South San Francisco and Belmont, as well as for breach of contract in relation to the events in Hayward, San Pablo and Oakland.

The investigation also found that Sodipo had accepted money and entered into contracts on three other engineering projects in Hayward, San Pablo and Oakland, but failed to complete the projects or to produce usable drawings.

The revocation order and accusation can be read here: http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/public/s–3860_dec1147.pdf


Physical Therapist and Son Charged with Insurance Fraud

San Francisco Bay Area pair also charged with grand theft and practicing medicine without a license

A licensed physical therapist and her son, who holds no license, have been charged with felonies after allegedly receiving $4.5 million from insurance companies for false claims.

Paula Skinner, of Glen Ellen, and her son Matthew Skinner, of Pleasanton, have each been charged with 34 felony counts related to crimes that allegedly occurred at their South San Francisco businesses, Pacific Occupational Health Clinic and Action Therapeutics.

The pair will appear in San Mateo County Superior Court on September 29, 2017, to set a date for their upcoming preliminary hearing.

The Skinners have each been charged with 10 counts of preparing and filing false insurance claims, 10 counts of conspiring to make fraudulent insurance claims, 10 counts of grand theft, and four counts of practicing medicine without a license. Most of the charges include enhancements because the crimes were aggravated white collar crimes with excessive losses.

The criminal complaint filed by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office alleges that between 2010 and 2017 the Skinners committed crimes against Liberty Mutual, Traveler’s Insurance, Hartford Insurance, State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) and Intercare Insurance.

Since their arrests, more insurance carriers have come forward to report additional losses. It is alleged that the Skinners billed over $15 million and received payments of over $4.5 million.

The investigation found that the Skinners co-owned and operated Pacific Occupational Health Clinic as a medical corporation. Medical corporations must be majority-owned by physicians and laypersons cannot have any ownership.

The Skinners allegedly hired physicians to act as the medical directors of Pacific Occupational Health Clinic, but the Skinners continued to run the business, including hiring and firing the medical staff and making medical decisions for patients. Pacific Occupational Health Clinic specialized in treating injured workers and billing worker’s compensation health plans.

The Skinners also allegedly referred patients to their other business, Action Therapeutics, for unnecessary physical therapy and chiropractic care.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI), and the FBI.  Investigators from DOI’s Investigation and Enforcement Unit, DOI’s Enforcement Support Unit, DOI’s Health Quality Investigation Unit and Operation Safe Medicine worked with San Mateo County District Attorney inspectors over the course of several months.

Paula Skinner’s physical therapy license is currently inactive. The Physical Therapy Board of California is reviewing the case and will take disciplinary action against her license as appropriate.

Any insurance company that believes it was a victim of the Skinners is asked to contact San Mateo County District Attorney Inspector Steve Sysum at (650) 877-5446.

 


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.

 

 


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.


Search Continues for Victims of Alleged Fake Doctor

Richmond man arrested for practicing medicine without a license after claiming to be an oncologist.

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A Northern California man will appear in Ventura County Court on October 26, 2015, to face felony charges of the unlawful practice of medicine and elder abuse, and a misdemeanor charge of furnishing dangerous drugs without a license.

Vincent Gammill, of El Cerrito, allegedly charged a cancer patient $2,000 and promised her a cure. He then furnished her with expired pharmaceutical medications and dirt.

Gammill, the owner of the Natural Oncology Institute in Richmond, claimed he was an oncologist, but has no license to practice medicine in California. Gammill was arrested on July 9, 2015, after a search warrant at his home and office turned up laboratory equipment, bottles labeled “corrosive” and “poison” and more than 25,000 prescription pills including morphine, Ambien, steroids and Mexican and Russian drugs.

On August 31, 2015, Gammill pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The investigation was a joint effort between the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit (PUC), a task force that consists of law enforcement officers from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Simi Valley Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation’s Health Quality Investigation Unit.

More victims are being sought. Southern California residents may contact the PUC at (805) 383-8700 or email pharm.tip@ventura.org. Northern California residents may contact Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office at (925) 313-2600.

To view the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office press release, go to:
http://www.vcsd.org/press-release.php?id=1326


Doctor and Husband Arrested In Connection with Death of Patient

PrintA Thousand Oaks doctor and her husband have been arrested in connection with the death of an elderly patient.

Dr. Ellen Crowe and Paul McQuillan, who own and operate House Call Doctor Thousand Oaks, were arrested May 13, 2015 following an investigation by the Division of Investigation’s Health Quality Investigation Unit and the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit.

Investigators allege the death of an elderly patient was related to treatment she received from McQuillan – who has no license or official medical training, and Crowe.

During a medical visit to the victim’s home last July, McQuillan allegedly injected the patient with morphine and she fell into a deep sleep. According to investigators’ reports, the morphine was provided by Crowe and ordered by another doctor. McQuillan allegedly left the residence before a technician from another company arrived to perform an ultrasound. McQuillan returned to the residence while the ultrasound was being conducted, when he realized the patient did not have a pulse and called 9-11. The patient was resuscitated by emergency responders, but never regained consciousness and died two days later.

McQuillan and Crowe were booked into the Ventura County Jail and secured bail. McQuillan faces charges for practicing medicine without a license and illegally furnishing morphine. Crowe faces charges for conspiracy to practice medicine without a license and conspiracy to furnish morphine. Additional charges and an additional arrest are possible.

McQuillan and Crowe will be arraigned in Ventura County Superior Court on May 27th.

Read the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit news release here.


NEWS: Husband and Wife Arrested for Practicing Medicine Without a License

SACRAMENTO – A Downey, California husband and wife have been arrested for the unlicensed practice of medicine.

Jose Alfredo Martinez and Emma Haydee Gonzalez were arrested Thursday following an investigation by the Health Quality Investigations Unit within the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation as part of its ongoing Operation Safe Medicine.

Investigators received a tip that Martinez, a former physician who lost his license in 2005, was practicing medicine without a license. Investigators posed as patients and received treatments during their visits with Martinez.

The investigation also revealed that Gonzalez was illegally administering injections and providing prescriptions to patients.

Martinez, in addition to the felony charges of practicing medicine without a license, has been charged with probation violations.

Martinez and Gonzalez remain in custody. Martinez will appear in Downey Municipal Court on May 11, 2015. A court date for Gonzalez has not yet been set.

Martinez’s 2005 revocation records can be found here.

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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.

 


Undercover Operation by DOI Safe Medicine Unit Uncovers Unlicensed Practice of Medicine

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A San Gabriel physician and a Registered Nurse could face possible disciplinary action against their licenses for illegally administering Botox at a medical spa.

An investigation conducted by the Division of Investigation’s Operation Safe Medicine Unit found that a Registered Nurse was offering Botox, laser hair removal, and other medical procedures without the supervision of a physician, as required by California law.  Registered Nurses are allowed to perform some medical procedures, but only upon receipt of instructions from a doctor and within specific limitations.

Eastern Beauty Medical Spa, in San Gabriel, was owned by Dr. Edwin Choi and by Registered Nurse Lydia Perkins.  During two undercover operations, it was discovered that Perkins was conducting medical consultations, providing medical recommendations, and then performing medical procedures without having consulted Dr. Choi or any other physician.

In March  2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Perkins with two misdemeanor counts for practicing medicine without a license.  Dr. Choi was charged with two misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine.

The results of the investigations have been forwarded to the Board of Registered Nursing for consideration of disciplinary action against Perkins’ license. The Medical Board of California will take the appropriate action regarding Dr. Choi’s license following the outcome of the criminal prosecution.


Preliminary Hearing Set For Southern California Man Facing Felony Charges

PrintA southern California man has been charged with 11 felonies after an investigation revealed he was illegally using licenses belonging to an Architect and Professional Engineer.

An investigation by the Division of Investigation’s (DOI) Chatsworth Field Office into Juan “Gary” Padilla Alzona, of Torrance, revealed he used license numbers that did not belong to him in order to portray himself as a licensed professional. The California Architects Board received numerous complaints that Alzona was posing as an architect and due to the serious nature of the allegations, the Board forwarded the case to the DOI for criminal investigation. One victim reported a loss of more than $55,000.

For approximately two to three years, Alzona operated a business called Sol Lunar, in Venice, through which he posed as a licensed professional. He illegally used license numbers belonging to an Architect and a Professional Engineer along with forged professional stamps and signatures to submit building plans to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety. Alzona is not licensed as an Architect or Professional Engineer.

Alzona appeared in the Los Angeles Superior Court to face felony charges for identity theft, submitting false information to a public agency, forgery, grand theft, and forging an official seal. He pled not guilty and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 16, 2015.

The Department of Consumer Affairs urges consumers to verify license information before allowing anyone to perform professional services. Licenses can be verified here.