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


Clovis Nurse Charged with Multiple Felony Counts, Including Practicing Medicine Without a License

PrintJennifer Steinbach, a registered nurse from Clovis, will appear in Fresno County Superior Court on December 8, after being charged with 29 felony counts. Charges include 12 counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, 16 counts of making false statements in prescription records, and one count of practicing medicine without a license.

The charges are the result of an investigation led by the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation, Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Central Valley Field Office.

The investigation found that while employed at a hospital in Fresno, Steinbach allegedly obtained controlled substances including Dilaudid, Diazepam, Morphine, and Hydrocodone illegally.

Steinbach has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The California Board of Registered Nursing will pursue disciplinary action, as appropriate, against Steinbach’s license.


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.

 

 


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.


Visalia Pharmacist Sentenced for Embezzlement, Forgery

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KINGS COUNTY – A Visalia pharmacist has been sentenced in Kings County Superior Court to three years’ probation, community service and addiction treatment courses for illegally obtaining controlled substances, forging prescriptions, and embezzlement.

Emily Clark was investigated by the Central Valley Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) – Investigation and Enforcement Unit after it was reported that she had stolen numerous narcotic medications from facilities in Hanford and Selma. Clark gained access to narcotics including Methadone, Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Soma, Demerol, and Dilaudid through her job as a pharmacist.

During the investigation, it was discovered that Clark had also forged prescriptions in order to obtain Adderall, by using the names, signatures, and Drug Enforcement Administration numbers of two physicians without their knowledge. Investigators also learned that Clark was previously arrested by the Fresno Police Department in 2013 for felony charges of possession of a controlled substance for sale or distribution and transportation of controlled substances with intent to sell or distribute. Clark will appear in court in Fresno County on June 3, 2015 related to those charges.

DOI Investigators arrested Clark on March 28, 2014. She initially faced 25 felony counts for embezzlement, theft, identity theft, burglary, forgery, passing false prescriptions, illegally obtaining controlled substances, possession of controlled substances, and possession of controlled substances for sale.

The sentence was the result of Clark’s No Contest plea to four felony counts on April 21, 2015.

The Board of Pharmacy has obtained a court order restricting Clark’s ability to work at any place where pharmaceuticals are the chief item of sale. The court order can be reviewed here.

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See 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.

 


Former Registered Nurse Arraigned on Felony Charges

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FRESNO – A former Registered Nurse has been arraigned on felony charges of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

An investigation led by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation Central Valley Field Office found that in February 2015 Jason Burham Smith had removed and tampered with Fentanyl and Morphine vials while employed at LDAC Vascular Centers in Fresno. Video surveillance from the facility showed Smith removing the narcotics from the narcotics cabinet, although he was not authorized to do so.

Smith appeared in Fresno County Superior Court Monday and pled not guilty to two felony counts of obtaining controlled substances by fraud. He also pled not guilty to one enhancement count of committing a crime while released on bail in a previous case. His bail was set at $190,000.

In March 2015, Smith surrendered his Registered Nurse license to the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) as part of a stipulated settlement. In January 2015, the BRN filed an Accusation against Smith’s license for failing to properly document the administration and wastage of prescription medicine and illegally obtaining controlled substances for personal use.

Smith’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 27, 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.


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.


Fake Pest Control Service Company Operator Convicted of Four Felonies

A southern California man who impersonated a pest control service company operator and scammed elderly victims has been convicted of four felonies and faces two years in prison.

Eldad Syton was convicted last week in the Los Angeles County Superior Court of one felony count of burglary and three felony counts of theft from an elder. Syton was advertising as a pest control service company operator when in fact he is not licensed by the Structural Pest Control Board to provide those types of services. As part of his scheme, he targeted elderly victims and entered into contracts with them to provide pest control services. He would then convince victims additional work was needed and entered into larger contracts for work that was never performed. It is estimated his victims lost more than $350,000.

The conviction is the result of an investigation conducted by the Division of Investigation’s Chatsworth Field Office, Los Angeles Police Department, Burbank Police Department, Whittier Police Department, and Santa Monica Police Department.

The Structural Pest Control Board initially received the complaint about Syton and due to the serious nature of the allegations, the Board forwarded the case for criminal investigation.

Syton will appear in court on March 18, 2015 for a restitution hearing.

Read past stories about this case:

Los Angeles Police Department
California Statewide Law Enforcement Association