On June 20, 2013, a licensed respiratory therapist, Santiago Alvarez was arrested as part of an undercover investigation by the Medical Board of California’s Operation Safe Medicine Task Force. The case has been filed in the Riverside County Superior Court by the District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Alvarez has been charged with practicing medicine without a license, along with grand theft by false pretenses. Mr. Alvarez is presumed to be innocent.
It is alleged that Mr. Alvarez owned and operated LogiHealth and Rejuvenix Medical, LLC, both located in Moreno Valley, California. A licensed Respiratory Care Practitioner, he allegedly represented himself as a Naturopathic doctor “Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine.” As part of the undercover operation, he allegedly provided Botox injections at both locations, which by law are required to be administered by a licensed physician, or a physician’s assistant, advanced nurse practitioner or registered nurse under direct supervision of a licensed physician. It was further alleged that Mr. Alvarez used the DEA number and forged the signature of another licensed physician to obtain prescriptions.
This case shows that complaints are increasingly being referred for undercover operations. We have seen an increase in undercover agents being sent into clinics being investigated to see if the rules against the unlicensed practice of medicine are being violated.