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.

 


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.


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.


Doctor and Husband Arrested In Connection with Death of Patient

PrintA Thousand Oaks doctor and her husband have been arrested in connection with the death of an elderly patient.

Dr. Ellen Crowe and Paul McQuillan, who own and operate House Call Doctor Thousand Oaks, were arrested May 13, 2015 following an investigation by the Division of Investigation’s Health Quality Investigation Unit and the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit.

Investigators allege the death of an elderly patient was related to treatment she received from McQuillan – who has no license or official medical training, and Crowe.

During a medical visit to the victim’s home last July, McQuillan allegedly injected the patient with morphine and she fell into a deep sleep. According to investigators’ reports, the morphine was provided by Crowe and ordered by another doctor. McQuillan allegedly left the residence before a technician from another company arrived to perform an ultrasound. McQuillan returned to the residence while the ultrasound was being conducted, when he realized the patient did not have a pulse and called 9-11. The patient was resuscitated by emergency responders, but never regained consciousness and died two days later.

McQuillan and Crowe were booked into the Ventura County Jail and secured bail. McQuillan faces charges for practicing medicine without a license and illegally furnishing morphine. Crowe faces charges for conspiracy to practice medicine without a license and conspiracy to furnish morphine. Additional charges and an additional arrest are possible.

McQuillan and Crowe will be arraigned in Ventura County Superior Court on May 27th.

Read the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit 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.

 


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.

 


Investigation Leads To Federal Charges For The Illegal Sale Of Contact Lenses

Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against 12 defendants in the Los Angeles area for allegedly selling decorative and cosmetic contact lenses – including some that were contaminated, without prescriptions.

Charges were filed as a result of an investigation called operation “Cat Eyes” and was conducted by the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Import Operations Branch of the Los Angeles District Office, the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation Health Quality Investigation Unit, and the California Department of Public Health.

Contact lenses are prescription medical devices and are subject to FDA regulations and require prescriptions from medical professionals.

Read more about this case from the United State Department of Justice’s official press release here.