Investigation Uncovers Unlicensed Individuals Operating a Medical Spa

Orange County pair posed as Registered Nurses and offered laser treatments

Snezhana Semenov, of Dana Point, and Matthew Tinnes, of Laguna Niguel, will appear in Orange County Superior Court on December 13, 2017, in an ongoing case where they face felony charges of receiving stolen property and practicing medicine without a license.

Investigators from Operation Safe Medicine in the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation’s Health Quality Investigation Unit, worked with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department after a medical device was stolen from another medical spa and traced to New Way Beauty in Laguna Niguel.

Semenov owned and operated New Way Beauty in Laguna Niguel, where Tinnes was employed.

Investigators conducted undercover operations and found that Semenov and Tinnes allegedly represented themselves as Registered Nurses and offered to perform laser treatments for hair removal and melasma, a skin discoloration.

Neither Semenov nor Tinnes have professional health care licenses.  Semenov and Tinnes were arrested in May and the charges were filed in July.  Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.  Their preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin in January 2018.

Los Angeles Area Licensed Vocational Nurse Charged with Felony Grand Theft

On May 1, 2017, investigators with the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation obtained an arrest warrant for licensed vocational nurse Josell McNeil-Dawkins.

McNeil-Dawkins was charged with one felony count of grand theft by embezzlement.

McNeil-Dawkins was investigated by the Division of Investigations’ Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Chatsworth Field Office after she was terminated by her employer, a home health agency.

From December 2015 to February 2016, McNeil-Dawkins was paid to provide in-home patient care for an infant.  McNeil-Dawkins failed to provide the care and instead falsified records in order to obtain payments for services she had never provided.

McNeil-Dawkins turned herself into the Los Angeles County Court on May 5 and pleaded not guilty to the charge.  She appeared in court on May 18 and her next court appearance is scheduled for July 6, 2017 at 8:30am.

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

Los Angeles Day Spa Closed Due to Unlicensed Practice of Medicine

The owner/managers of Zena Day Spa and three of their employees are facing felony charges in Los Angeles County Superior Court as the result of an investigation conducted by “Operation Safe Medicine,” a task force within the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation Health Quality Investigation Unit whose mission is to investigate unlicensed activity and unsafe practice of medicine.   The spa, which was located on Sepulveda Boulevard in Culver City, is now closed.  Print

Fouad Nouri, a physician, allegedly aided and abetted the unlicensed activity of Mikhaiel Ayad Mikhaiel, the spa’s owner.  After Mikhaiel’s death, his wife Reda Fakery Mikhaiel, aka Reda Mikhiael, a cosmetologist, managed the spa and allegedly allowed employees to perform cosmetic procedures, including Botox and intense pulsed light laser treatments, on patients who had not received an examination by a doctor or nurse practitioner.  The investigation was initiated after a patient complained of third degree burns and scarring to her face after receiving intense pulsed light laser treatments at the spa in 2013.

The investigation and undercover operations showed that registered nurses Darla Sheree O’Brien and Jhoanna Maria Gando Pereja, and esthetician Rula Abusnaineh, were illegally performing medical procedures.

Mikhaiel and Abusnaineh were each charged with one felony count of unlicensed practice of medicine.  Mikhaiel’s cosmetology license is currently on probation by the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology as the result of a prior investigation.  Mikhaiel and Abusnaineh will return to court on January 18.

O’Brien was charged with two felony counts of unlicensed practice of medicine.  She pleaded no contest to one count and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 5.  Nouri was charged with one felony count of aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine.  He pleaded no contest and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 10.  On November 8, 2016, the Medical Board of California obtained an order limiting Nouri’s practice of medicine and barring him from having ownership interest in any medical day spas or performing cosmetic procedures for the duration of the criminal proceeding.

Pereja has been charged with two felony counts of unlicensed practice of medicine and a warrant has been issued for her arrest.  She is believed to be out of the country.

The Accusation against Nouri can be read here:

The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, Board of Registered Nursing and the Medical Board of California will pursue disciplinary action, as appropriate, against their respective licensees.

Registered Nurse Faces Sentencing on Felony Count of Insurance Fraud

Deborah Oldham, a Burlingame registered nurse, has pleaded guilty to one count of  insurance fraud and will appear in San Mateo County Superior Court on December 2, 2016 for sentencing. Print

Oldham was originally charged with nine felony counts, including insurance fraud and obtaining controlled substances by fraud.  Her plea was the result of a year-long joint investigation conducted by the Investigation and Enforcement Unit – Hayward Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation and the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

The investigation showed that while working at Mills-Peninsula Health Services in 2013, Oldham documented administration of fentanyl and midazolam to patients, which resulted in charges to the patients’ insurance providers.

Oldham’s registered nurse license was placed on probation last summer after the California Board of Registered Nursing filed an accusation that Oldham made unintelligible entries pertaining to controlled substances.

The Board’s accusation and order can be viewed 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.