Preliminary Hearing Set for Owner of a Saratoga Medical Clinic

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A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court for a Saratoga physician charged with two felonies for aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine at his clinic.

An investigation led by the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation (DOI) found Dr. David George Wetterholt had allowed Jeffrey Lawrence Mauck to practice medicine in his clinic without a license. Dr. Wetterholt, owner of the Saratoga Walk-In Clinic, allegedly allowed Mauck to work in the clinic as an unpaid physician assistant trainee and to evaluate and treat patients, including suturing a laceration on a minor.

Mauck also allegedly used Dr. Wetterholt’s physician license and Drug Enforcement Agency license to illegally obtain controlled substances. DOI worked with Special Agents from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Mauck and Dr. Wetterholt were arrested in November 2014 by the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. Mauck was charged with two felony counts of practicing medicine without a license, eight misdemeanor counts for possession of controlled substances, and two misdemeanor counts for possession of burglary tools.

Mauck is also facing separate federal charges. A felony indictment was filed against Mauck on January 28, 2015, charging him with seven counts of being an unregistered manufacturer of guns and producing short barreled rifles. His next court date is scheduled for July 8, 2015 in the U.S. District Court in San Jose.


Southern California Physician Convicted of Illegal Prescription of Controlled Substances Awaits Sentencing

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A southern California physician recently convicted of illegally prescribing controlled substances appeared last month before a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge and will face sentencing in October.

An investigation conducted by the Cerritos Field Office of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration found Dr. John Dimowo, of Walnut, prescribing narcotics to addicts. During undercover operations, investigators pretended to be patients and Dimowo wrote them prescriptions of Vicodin, Xanax and Adderall without conducting examinations.  He wrote prescriptions for investigators that had no legitimate need for the drugs.

In December 2013, a judge ordered that Dimowo’s ability to issue prescriptions be restricted as a condition of his bail.  Dimowo was re-arrested in April 2015 after investigators found that he was still prescribing drugs in violation of the court order.   On April 22, 2015 a Superior Court Judge issued an order restricting Dimowo’s practice in that he must cease the practice of medicine and turn over all prescription pads to investigators.

Dimowo was convicted last month of seven felonies and scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on October 23, 2015.

 


Undercover Operation by DOI Safe Medicine Unit Uncovers Unlicensed Practice of Medicine

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A San Gabriel physician and a Registered Nurse could face possible disciplinary action against their licenses for illegally administering Botox at a medical spa.

An investigation conducted by the Division of Investigation’s Operation Safe Medicine Unit found that a Registered Nurse was offering Botox, laser hair removal, and other medical procedures without the supervision of a physician, as required by California law.  Registered Nurses are allowed to perform some medical procedures, but only upon receipt of instructions from a doctor and within specific limitations.

Eastern Beauty Medical Spa, in San Gabriel, was owned by Dr. Edwin Choi and by Registered Nurse Lydia Perkins.  During two undercover operations, it was discovered that Perkins was conducting medical consultations, providing medical recommendations, and then performing medical procedures without having consulted Dr. Choi or any other physician.

In March  2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Perkins with two misdemeanor counts for practicing medicine without a license.  Dr. Choi was charged with two misdemeanor counts of aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of medicine.

The results of the investigations have been forwarded to the Board of Registered Nursing for consideration of disciplinary action against Perkins’ license. The Medical Board of California will take the appropriate action regarding Dr. Choi’s license following the outcome of the criminal prosecution.


Southern California Physician Sentenced To Five Years In Prison For Illegally Prescribing Controlled Substances

A southern California physician has been sentenced to more than five years in prison by a federal judge after being convicted of illegally prescribing and distributing controlled substances.

An investigation into Dr. Andrew S. Sun revealed he illegally issued thousands of prescriptions for powerful and addictive controlled substances out of his San Gabriel and Los Angeles medical clinics. The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation – San Dimas Field Office participated in the investigation with local, state and federal authorities.

“Doctors who illegally prescribe addictive and powerful narcotics pose a serious threat to the public,” said Division of Investigation Chief Michael Gomez. “We are happy to see justice was served.”

Sun is not allowed to legally practice medicine in the state of California. The Medical Board of California placed Sun on probation in 2010 and suspended his license in 2012 – both as the result of prescribing issues.

Read the Los Angeles Times article here.

Read the June 2014 U.S. Department of Justice press release here.

Read the April 2014 U.S. Department of Justice press release here.

For more information about the Division of Investigation, click here.

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