|For Immediate Release
March 9th, 2004
District Attorney Spokesperson
(714) 347-8405 (O)
(714) 323-4486 (C)
SANTA ANA WOMAN CHARGED WITH TREATING PATIENTS WITHOUT A MEDICAL LICENSE
Santa Ana – Maria Genoveva Torres, 58, of Santa Ana, has been charged with felony unauthorized practice of medicine for treating patients and running a medical practice without a license. If convicted, she faces up to 3 years in prison. Torres was arrested on Monday, March 8, 2004.
In January, the Santa Ana Police Department alerted the Medical Board of California about an anonymous tip that a woman in Santa Ana was representing herself as a physician and seeing patients in her home. On several occasions, investigators drove by Torres’ house, on the 800 block of Halladay Street, and observed a number of Hispanic adults and young children waiting on the front porch.
On March 3, 2004, two undercover officers went to the house. One of the undercover officers told Torres that he had a stomach ailment. Torres had the officer remove his shirt and lie down on the floor. She told the officer that he was suffering from colitis. Torres then began to treat the officer by putting a penny on his stomach, placing a lit candle on the penny, and covering it with a glass. Torres proceeded to rub the glass in a circular motion. After the treatment, Torres gave the officer a substance that she claimed would release the blockage in his stomach. While in the home, the officers saw syringes and boxes containing medicine with labels in Spanish.
Deputy District Attorney Cheri Pham in the Consumer Fraud Unit is assigned to the case. Torres is expected to be arraigned Monday, April 5, 2004, at 9 a.m. in department C55 of the Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Drive West in Santa Ana. The Medical Board of California has setup a hotline for anyone who was treated by Maria Torres to come forward at (714) 247-2126.