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Unlicensed Activity Investigation Leads to Arrest in Sarasota

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

December 10, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

UNLICENSED ACTIVITY INVESTIGATION LEADS TO ARREST IN SARASOTA

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health’s St. Petersburg Unlicensed Activity (ULA) Unit announced a joint investigation with the Sarasota Police Department. The investigation has led to the arrest of Leonard Rubinstein for one count of the Practice of Medicine without a license or when License is Suspended or Revoked, which is a third degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison. The Florida Department of Health (Department) will also issue Leonard Rubinstein a formal Cease and Desist Order for the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine and a Uniform Unlicensed Activity Citation. Rubinstein’s license was revoked by the Florida Board of Medicine on April 11, 2011 and he was not licensed as a physician by the Department.

The joint operation was conducted after information was received alleging Rubinstein was practicing a healthcare profession without being licensed by the Department. The information stated Rubinstein was performing surgeries after examining patients in an office in Sarasota.

On November 20, 2013 a City of Sarasota Police Officer and an Investigator with the Department of Health’s Unlicensed Activity Office in St. Petersburg, conducted an undercover operation at the establishment “Center for Integration in Cosmetic Surgery, Rejuvenation Medicine, Allergy, Ears Nose and Throat, Skin Wellness” located at 1805 Siesta Drive in Sarasota, FL. Leonard Rubinstein represented himself as a physician and gave a consultation to the undercover police officer and offered to perform surgery at a later date. On December 9, 2013, Rubinstein was arrested and booked in the county jail with a $50,000 bond.

The Department of Health 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 Florida Department of Health’s unlicensed activity program protects Florida residents and visitors from the potentially serious and dangerous consequences of receiving medical and 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. In many instances, unlicensed activity is a felony level criminal offense. More importantly, receiving health care from unlicensed people is dangerous and could result in further injury, disease or even death.

The mission of the Florida Department of Health and MQA is to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Working in conjunction with 22 boards and six councils, MQA regulates seven types of facilities and 200-plus license types in more than 40 healthcare professions. MQA evaluates the credentials of all applicants for licensure, issues licenses, analyzes and investigates complaints, inspects facilities, assists in prosecuting practice act violations, combats unlicensed activity and provides credential and discipline history about licensees to the public. Visit www.FlHealthSource.gov for additional information about MQA.

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and 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 http://newsroom.doh.state.fl.us/.

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