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Unlicensed Activity Investigations Lead to South Florida Arrests

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

July 29, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

UNLICENSED ACTIVITY INVESTIGATIONS LEAD TO SOUTH FLORIDA ARRESTS

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) West Palm Beach and Miami Unlicensed Activity Units conducted investigations in partnership with local law enforcement that have resulted in arrests for the unlicensed practice of dentistry. Rosa Maldonado of Miami was arrested on July 3, 2013 and Ubaldo Bittencourt of Boca Raton was arrested July 18, 2013. The unlicensed practice of a health care profession is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

“Unlicensed practice of a health care profession reflects a complete disregard for the wellbeing and safety of Florida’s families,” said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. “These arrests show our resolve to identify and stop unlicensed activity, so that the people of Florida are protected.”

An investigation into the activities of Rosa Maldonado, part owner and employee at Risa Dental Center, was initiated after North Miami Beach Police Department received information from a colleague who discovered she was practicing dentistry when he left the office. On July 3, 2013, a joint operation resulted in the arrest of Maldonado on three counts of the practice of unlicensed dentistry.

The joint DOH and Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Multi-Agency Diversion Taskforce operation that led to the arrest of Ubaldo Bittencourt was prompted by an anonymous source alleging Bittencourt offered dental services from his Boca Raton home. An undercover visit was conducted in which Bittencourt performed an oral dental examination and offered to perform a dental procedure for a monetary fee. His residence had a dental chair, medical records, a dental x-ray machine and numerous medications.

DOH has several resources to combat unlicensed activity:

  • Consumers are encouraged to use DOH’s Web site www.FlHealthSource.gov where they can conveniently view the license information of their health care practitioner.
  • Complaints may be filed anonymously by completing and mailing the complaint form on the DOH Web site or calling 1-877-HALT-ULA or 1-888-419-3456.

The unlicensed activity program protects Florida residents and visitors from the potentially dangerous consequences of receiving health care services from an unlicensed person. The Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) investigates and refers for prosecution all unlicensed health care activity complaints and allegations. The unlicensed activity unit works in conjunction with law enforcement and the state attorney’s offices to prosecute individuals practicing without a license. Receiving health care from unlicensed people is dangerous and could result in further injury, disease or even death.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For news story ideas, interviews, videos and more from DOH Communications visit the DOH Online Newsroom.

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