DCA is Here to Help All Year Long

Just because National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) has ended doesn’t mean you aren’t protected. As #NCPW2017 wraps up, DCA wants to remind consumers that our resources and programs are available any time of year. This past week, we’ve shared details on many of them.

An informed consumer is a protected consumer: consider yourself empowered! Learn more at www.dca.ca.gov.

Also, see our complete list of free publications at www.dca.ca.gov/publications/publications_list.shtml, subscribe to our award-winning magazine, Consumer Connection, and follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @DCAnews.

News from The DOI Page: Husband and Wife Arrested for Practicing Medicine Without a License

DOI_WORDPRESS_BEAR-FLAG-2010-themeA 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…Click here for more details.

Exam Subversion Defendant Pleads Guilty To Two Felonies

Will also pay $400,000 in restitution to the Department of Consumer Affairs

SACRAMENTO – A southern California man accused of subverting state licensing exams has pled guilty to two felony burglary counts and will pay $400,000 in restitution to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Larry Holmes, Jr., and a business associate were arrested in January following an investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation. The investigation revealed ACEAPP Training, which was operated by the pair, helped people cheat on numerous state licensing exams.

Exam materials for 12 different state-administered exams were illegally obtained affecting licensing entities including the Structural Pest Control Board, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Industrial Relations, the California Secretary of State and other departments.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case,” said Susan Saylor, the Executive Officer of the Structural Pest Control Board, who originally requested the investigation. “Exam subversion is not only illegal, but it can put consumers at risk and will not be tolerated.”

As a result of the guilty plea, Holmes was sentenced to 30 days in county jail, 30 days of Caltrans work projects, placed on three years formal probation and ordered to pay $400,000 to the Department. He has already paid $200,000 and the rest will be paid over two years. A Superior Court Order was also issued against Holmes which suspends his Pest Control Operator’s license pending final resolution of his administrative case.

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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.

 

Department cracks down on schools submitting bogus training documents

The California Department of Consumer Affairs today issued two press releases about schools cheating the system by providing people with fraudulent training documents. Recent investigations by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation found a cosmetology school in South El Monte  and a cosmetology school in Milpitas were accepting money from students in exchange for training documents even though the students never completed any training. Consumers deserve licensees who are properly trained. A licensee who has bogus training documents could put you at risk!

DCA Investigator Honored

Division of Investigation (DOI) Investigator Frank Root received honors from DCA Director Denise D. Brown and the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board for his work in the investigation and arrest of San Luis Obispo hearing aid dispenser Aaron Marquis and his wife, Anja, last October.

DOI had received a complaint from the Board alleging that Marquis was falsely advertising that he held a PhD in Audiology. The complaint also alleged that Marquis was also practicing as an Audiologist and was illegally billing for his services.

Over a period of three years, Root served subpoenas, search warrants, and temporary restraining orders, and worked with informants, victims and allied agencies. The investigation uncovered fraud that exceeded $500,000, involving numerous insurance providers and more than 140 patients—many of them senior citizens

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Root’s investigation led to the San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office filing charges on  22 felony counts and two enhancements on both Marquis and his wife. The two were convicted of felony violations of grand theft and a pattern of related felony conduct and insurance fraud, which included private insurance companies, Medi-Cal and Medicare insurances. In addition, Marquis was sentenced to 365 days in jail and five years’ probation, and his wife was sentenced to 13 days in jail and five years’ probation.