By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On November 16, 2018, a Florida woman was accused of practicing as an unlicensed dentist, operating out of her home garage. After receiving an anonymous tip, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Alexandra Gallego after a month-long investigation into the illegal practice.
She is facing charges of Practicing Dentistry without a License, and Unlawful Use and Control of Dental Equipment.
Practicing Without a License.
In addition to running an illegal practice, Gallego is accused of offering discounted rates to patients who paid in cash, couldn’t afford insurance or did not have the proper documents to legally be in the United States. When investigators searched the home, they found a makeshift dental office, including X-rays, medications and payment receipts located in the garage.
She told authorities she would see about 160 patients a month and made about $20,000 from those appointments. She funneled the money through a cleaning company that she legally owned so that she would be paying taxes on the income. She admitted to authorities that she knew she was legally not allowed to practice dentistry in Florida without a license.
Practicing Without a License Is a Crime.
Practicing medicine without a license is a crime! Additionally, so is helping someone practice medicine without a license. As a practitioner, you may be asked to supervise or join a practice. Remember, your license may be at stake with any wrongdoing by your subordinates. Before you join a practice or agree to supervise others, check first with the DOH that the other providers are legitimate. You can check current medical and dentistry licenses in the state of Florida here.
Remember, a license to practice medicine in Venezuela, Cuba, or anywhere else, is just that: a license to practice in that country. It does not allow a person to practice medicine in the United States.
Click here to read one of my prior blogs on a similar case of a Floridian posing as a doctor.
Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Providers Licensure and Regulatory Matters and in DOH Cases.
The Health Law Firm represents dentists, pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses, and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Department of Health (DOH), and other law enforcement agencies.
If you are aware of an investigation of you or your practice, or if you have been contacted by the DEA or DOH, contact an experienced health law attorney immediately.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
Detman, Gary. “Woman practiced dentistry out of garage, deputies say.” CBS 12News. (November 16, 2018). Web.
“Royal Palm Beach woman charged with practicing dental hygiene without license.” WPTV. (November 16, 2018). Web.
Hitchcock, Olivia. “Royal Palm woman accused of running illegal dental practice, making about $20K a month.” The Palm Beach Post. (November 16, 2018). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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