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Joint Investigation Leads to Arrest in Crystal River

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

February 13, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2015

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

Joint Unlicensed Activity Investigation Leads to Arrest in Crystal River, Florida

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health's Alachua Unlicensed Activity (ULA) Unit announced their joint investigation with the Citrus County Sheriff Office has led to the arrest of Kerry Scott Hanson for the alleged unlicensed practice of massage therapy and for operating an unlicensed massage establishment, a 1st degree misdemeanor and punishable by imprisonment not exceeding one year.

This joint operation was conducted on Feb. 10, 2015, at Spa West, located at 2010 SE U.S. Highway 19, Crystal River, Florida 34429, based on allegations that Hanson was operating an unlicensed massage establishment and performing massage without being a licensed massage therapist. On Feb. 10, 2015 law enforcement presented to Spa West and requested a massage. Hanson stated he could provide a massage for the undercover officer. At that time law enforcement entered the establishment and arrested Hanson on one count of operating as a massage therapist/practicing massage without a license. Alachua ULA office investigators hand served a notice to cease and desist and an unlicensed activity citation for operating an unlicensed massage establishment.

The Department of Health has several resources to combat unlicensed activity:

  • Consumers are encouraged to use the department's website www.flhealthsource.gov where they can conveniently view the license information of their health care provider.
  • Complaints may be filed anonymously by completing and mailing the complaint form on the Florida Department of Health's website or by calling 1-877-HALT-ULA.

The department's ULA 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 department's 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.

Working in conjunction with 22 boards and eight 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 more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.floridahealth.gov.

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