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Joint Unlicensed Activity Investigation Leads to Arrest in Destin, FL

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015                                                 

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111


TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health’s Pensacola Unlicensed Activity (ULA) Unit announced that their joint investigation with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has led to the arrest of Xiao Hong Ren for the alleged unlicensed practice of massage therapy.  Providing health care without a license can be a third degree felony and punishable by a minimum of one year incarceration.

On June 10, 2015, during a joint operation with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Xiao Hong Ren was arrested for providing massage therapy to an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office undercover officer without a proper license.

The department has several resources to combat unlicensed activity:

  • Consumers are encouraged to use the department’s website 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 Florida Department of Health’s Web site, calling 1-877-HALT-ULA, or emailing

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 six councils, MQA regulates seven types of facilities and 200-plus license types in more than 40 health care 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 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.

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