Clovis Vocational Nurse Arrested and Charged with Theft from an Elder Adult

Licensed vocational nurse Michael Anthony Larkins, of Clovis, was arrested June 9, 2017, on one felony charge of theft from an elder adult.

Larkins’ alleged crime was discovered when a credit card company reported suspicious credit card activity to the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Division of Investigation (DOI).

Investigators from the Division’s Investigation and Enforcement Unit, Central Valley Field Office, learned that Larkins used a credit card belonging to a 92 year old patient who lived at the acute care center where Larkins worked.

Larkins is believed to have used the credit card to withdraw money from ATMs 11 times over a six day period in October 2016 and to make online purchases four times in the following two weeks, resulting in over $3,000 of fraudulent charges.

DOI investigators obtained surveillance video showing Larkins using some of the ATMs where the money was withdrawn.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office charged Larkin with one felony charge of theft from an elder adult.

DOI investigators booked Larkins into Fresno County Jail without incident and he was arraigned on June 23, 2017, when he pleaded not guilty to the charge.  His next court date is scheduled for July 28, 2017.

The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians have completed a review of the case and are pursuing disciplinary action against Larkins’ license.


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.


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.


Investigation Leads to Arrest of Ventura Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

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A Ventura Doctor of Podiatric Medicine has been arrested after an investigation revealed he engaged in prescription fraud.

Dr. Randolph Nordyke was arrested last month at his home in San Diego after an investigation revealed he was falsifying prescriptions and doctor shopping. The investigation was conducted by the Division of Investigation’s Health Quality Investigation Unit – Valencia Field Office, the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Investigators discovered Nordyke – who was reportedly retired from practice, wrote prescriptions for oxycodone in the name of a former patient and posed as the patient’s husband to pick up the prescriptions. Investigators also determined he was doctor shopping in Ventura County in an attempt to obtain oxycodone prescriptions.

The investigation into his doctor shopping is ongoing and investigators are also working to determine if there are additional identity theft victims.

Following his arrest, Nordyke surrendered his privilege to prescribe controlled substances. His license with the California Board of Podiatric Medicine was on probation prior to his arrest and may face additional administrative actions.

Nordyke will appear before the Ventura County Superior Court to face charges of identity theft, unlawfully prescribing controlled substances, forging prescriptions and burglary.

Read the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office press release here.

 


Pharmacist pleads not guilty to fraud, larceny

Prescription Medication Spilling From an Open Medicine Bottle

A Tulare County Pharmacist has plead not guilty to charges of fraud, larceny and diversion of prescription drugs.

Emily Anne Clark was arrested as a result of an investigation led by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation’s (DOI) Central Valley Field Office.  DOI was assisted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Unit Investigators-Fresno Resident Office, Kings County District Attorney’s Office and the Visalia Police Department.

The investigation found Clark had taken money and personal property from Adventist Health Hospitals while she was an employee. Clark also obtained personal information of doctors without their consent and entered several pharmacies in Tulare and Visalia counties to commit larceny. Clark unlawfully possessed for sale controlled substances. She was charged with 25 felony counts and faces a maximum of 12 years and 8 months jail time.

The Board of Pharmacy was granted a court order restricting Clark’s ability to practice as a pharmacist.

Clark’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 27, 2014.