Carmichael Woman Arrested for Grand Theft and Embezzlement

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Marie Brown, of Carmichael, was arrested March 15, 2018, by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Investigation (DOI) – Sacramento Field Office.  Brown has been charged with three felonies including grand theft, embezzlement by a trustee and embezzlement or theft from an elder or dependent adult.

The arrest warrant was issued by a Sacramento County Superior Court judge.

Brown was investigated after DCA’s Board of Behavioral Sciences learned that she was acting as a therapist and working with vulnerable clients, including the elderly.  Investigators with DOI’s Investigation and Enforcement Unit (IEU) learned that Brown was also allegedly advertising as a “psychotherapist” and a “MFCC” (marriage, family, and child counselor). Brown, who was formerly a marriage and family therapist intern, has not held any professional license since 2001.

In 2013, the board issued a $5,000 citation and Order of Abatement to Brown.  She was ordered to cease and desist from providing psychotherapeutic services without a license.

Following the Order of Abatement, Brown allegedly continued to provide therapy services to multiple individuals.  She also became the trustee of a special needs trust account whose beneficiaries were dependent adults.  Investigators served multiple search warrants and found that Brown had allegedly used thousands of dollars in funds from the trust to make personal purchases and billed the trust thousands of dollars for therapy services that she was not licensed to provide.

Brown is being prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Special Investigations and Public Integrity Unit.

Brown was arraigned on March 19, 2018.  She is scheduled to be back in court on May 22, 2018.


Fresno Area Doctor Charged in Illegal Botox Parties, Nurse Pleads No Contest

A Fresno physician accused of participating in illegal Botox parties was in court on March 20, 2018, and a registered nurse (RN) has pleaded no contest in the case.
The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office charged Dr. Robert Adams Graham with one felony count of aiding or abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine, while RN Rebekah Suzanne Demoss, of Kingsburg, recently pleaded no contest to dispensing and furnishing dangerous drugs and was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
An investigation conducted by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation – Investigation and Enforcement Unit (IEU) Central Valley Field Office determined that Graham teamed up with Demoss, who owned ZLB Rejuvenation on Draper Street in Kingsburg, and he allegedly allowed her to use his name to order prescription drugs.
Undercover operations found that Demoss traveled to homes and day spas to host Botox parties and spa nights. During these events, Demoss injected patients with Botox and Juvederm and offered to sell them Latisse.  These products are prescription medications and must be purchased by a physician. Patients must be examined by a physician or a nurse practitioner before receiving these drugs.
The investigation found that Graham did not perform any examinations of the patients that Demoss injected and he did not review any patient medical records related to the cosmetic treatments. Graham was also not aware of when, what or how much medication Demoss ordered, or where she ordered it.
If convicted, Graham faces a sentence of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000 under Business and Professions Code 2052(a).
The Medical Board of California has filed an accusation against Graham, which can be read HERE.
The Board of Registered Nursing has filed an accusation against Demoss, which can be read HERE.

 


Illegal Buttocks Enhancement Procedure Lands Woman in Prison

 

A Monterey Park woman has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for injecting a woman with an unknown substance that was smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.

Ana Bertha Diaz Hernandez, 47, who is not a physician and did not have any professional licenses in the U.S., was sentenced by a federal judge on March 5, 2018, after pleading guilty to one count of receiving and administering an adulterated and misbranded liquid substance and admitting that she injected the liquid substance into the victim during a body contouring procedure that included buttocks enhancement. As part of the plea agreement, Diaz Hernandez will also pay a $95,000 fine and $30,000 restitution to her victim.

The conviction was the result of a joint investigation conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Criminal Investigations, and Operation Safe Medicine, part of the Health Quality Investigation Unit (HQIU) within the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation.

In December 2016, the Medical Board of California received a complaint alleging that Diaz Hernandez had injected a victim with an unknown substance during an enhancement procedure.  HQIU investigators learned the procedure involved a series of treatments at Diaz Hernandez’s home.  During the contouring process, Diaz Hernandez claimed to be a doctor and mislead the victim about the safety of the injections.

Following the procedure, the unknown substance migrated into the victim’s back, hips and legs and she underwent surgery to remove the foreign substance from her body. She was eventually hospitalized due to infections and complications from the procedure and received skin grafts to repair the damage.

HQIU investigators alerted the FDA and HQIU and FDA investigators teamed up to inspect trash from Diaz Hernandez’s home, where they found bottles of Spanish-labeled medical products and empty syringe packaging. Investigators then conducted surveillance on Diaz Hernandez’s home and served a search warrant.

Drugs and medical devices are considered adulterated when they are used for a purpose other than the use they have been approved or cleared for marketing by the FDA. Drugs and medical devices are considered misbranded when their labeling does not have adequate directions and warnings for use under U.S. law or when prescription drugs are dispensed without a written or oral prescription by a licensed medical practitioner.

Diaz Hernandez was arrested in June 2017 and reached a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office in July 2017.

The United States Attorney’s Office news releases can be read HERE.

 


Former Granite Bay Physician Sentenced on Federal Drug Charges

Former Granite Bay physician Nicholas J. Capos Jr. was sentenced last week by a federal judge to 52 months in prison for selling controlled substance prescriptions and will forfeit $90,000 earned from his illicit activities. Capos had already surrendered his medical license in 2016.

In May 2016, Capos pleaded guilty to five counts of illegal distribution and dispensation of oxycodone. In his plea agreement, Capos admitted to intentionally prescribing controlled substances outside of the usual course of medical practice and without legitimate medical purpose. He also admitted that he accepted payments on a per-prescription basis and that he would write prescriptions based on patients’ requests.

The sentence and license surrender were the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Health Quality Investigation Unit – Sacramento Field Office of the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (formerly the Sacramento District Office of the Medical Board of California), the California Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The investigation was initiated by the Medical Board in August 2010. In 2012, Medical Board investigators conducted multiple undercover appointments with Capos. That same year, Medical Board investigators teamed up with the DEA and DOJ and served search warrants on Capos’ home in Granite Bay and his businesses in Yuba City and Grass Valley.

The investigation focused on prescriptions written by Capos between 2008 and 2012. Investigators reviewed prescriptions from over 70 pharmacies and numerous patient records. Pharmacy records showed that Capos prescribed 2,640 hydrocodone pills to one patient over a 28-day period. He also prescribed 2,100 oxycodone pills to another patient over a 50-day period.

During the undercover appointments, investigators learned that Capos charged patients a “DEA Fee” of $100 per prescription.  The undercover investigator was able to request prescriptions from Capos for Vicodin, Ambien, Percocet, oxycodone, and promethazine with codeine.  At one point, Capos warned the undercover investigator to “stay under the radar.”

In 2013, the Medical Board filed an accusation against Capos, alleging 39 instances of gross negligence, prescribing without an appropriate prior examination, excessive prescribing, inaccurate medical records and repeated negligence in his care of 10 patients and an undercover Medical Board investigator.

The Medical Board Accusation can be viewed here.

The United States Attorney’s Office press release can be read here.


Nurse Practitioner Arrested for Illegally Issuing Prescriptions

Jasmine Hill, of Bakersfield, was arrested and charged with nine felonies and one misdemeanor after it was discovered that she allegedly wrote prescriptions for herself for controlled substances.

Kern County Superior Court issued an arrest warrant and Hill was taken into custody on Oct. 6, 2017, by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) with assistance from the Bakersfield Police Department.

Click HERE to view the full news release.


Day Spa Owner Charged with Aiding in the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine

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The owner of a day spa has been charged with a felony after a customer was burned during treatment.

Kim Anna Arvdalen, owner of The Chocolate Day Spa, has been charged with one felony count of conspiring and aiding and abetting in the unlicensed practice of medicine.  The spa, which was located on Bristol Street in Costa Mesa, is now closed.

Arvdalen’s co-conspirator, registered nurse Mary C. Lamb, was charged with one felony count of practicing medicine without a license.  Since the filing of criminal charges, Lamb has passed away.

The felony charge against Arvdalen was filed by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office after an investigation conducted through the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation by the Health Quality Investigation Unit Tustin Field Office.

The investigation stemmed from a consumer complaint that was sent to the Medical Board of California.  The complaint alleged that a patient was burned and scarred after receiving intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment from Lamb at The Chocolate Day Spa.

When the patient later obtained copies of her medical records, they contained a release form she denied signing.  The release form was co-signed by the spa’s medical director, Dr. James McVeigh, who died one month before the form was purportedly signed.

Lamb admitted that she had performed both IPL treatments and laser hair removal on the patient without the patient receiving a medical evaluation from McVeigh or from any other physician as required by law.  Registered nurses may only perform these treatments while working under the supervision of a physician and only after the patient has been evaluated by that physician.

Arvdalen was licensed as an esthetician from 2004 to 2012, but her license is currently delinquent.  She pleaded not guilty on July 8, 2015.  She will be in court again on September 24, 2015.


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.