Former Acupuncturist Charged with Insurance Fraud

acupuncture

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


Man Arrested for Practicing Medicine Without a License

PrintSan Juan Bautista resident was also charged with assault with a deadly weapon

San Benito County – A San Juan Bautista man was arrested last week for the unlicensed practice of medicine.

The Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Central Valley Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation investigated and arrested Slave Petkovski, also known as “Doc” Petkovski, following a consumer complaint that was made to the California Acupuncture Board.

An undercover investigation and subsequent search warrant revealed Petkovski ran a business in San Juan Bautista called Petkovski Massage, Fitness and Spine Center located at 301 Alameda, Suite J.  At the center, Petkovski treated patients using acupuncture and also offered chiropractic services, even though he is not licensed to offer either of these services.  Petkovski also offered a medical procedure in which he injected saline into patients’ spinal cords.

The California Acupuncture Board, the San Benito County Sheriff’s Department and Investigators with the San Benito County District Attorney’s Office also assisted with this investigation.

“Consumer safety is of the utmost importance,” said California Acupuncture Board executive officer Terri Thorfinnson. “Consumers need to seek health services from properly trained professionals who are licensed.”

The San Benito County District Attorney’s Office charged Petkovski with six counts of practicing medicine without a license and five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, all felonies. The bail amount was set at $270,000.00. Petkovski is scheduled to be arraigned on these charges in the San Benito County Superior Court on September 10, 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.