Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Man Who Allegedly Claimed To Be Doctor Gets Suspension

Man Who Allegedly Claimed To Be Doctor Gets Suspension

POSTED: 5:59 am EDT June 20, 2005
UPDATED: 7:32 am EDT June 20, 2005

PROVIDENCE -- A man who authorities say falsely claimed to be a doctor and performed incorrect and unnecessary medical tests has agreed to a suspension of his natural healing practice, a lawyer for the state Health Department said.

John E. Curran, of Exeter, did not testify at an administrative hearing on Friday, repeatedly invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination according to the Providence Journal.

The state Health Department shut down Curran's East Greenwich medical practice earlier this month. Investigators said Curran gave false and misleading diagnoses, routinely drew blood and swindled patients by offering expensive treatments.

Curran claimed to be a physician and naturopath, a doctor who treats diseases with natural agents like air, water or sunshine.

Curran pleaded the Fifth Amendment as Bruce McIntyre, a lawyer for the Health Department, held up various items -- including copies of bogus diplomas and a blue lab coat -- that he used as part of his practice.

"Isn't it true that this is the coat you wore when you saw patients?" McIntyre asked.

"I must plead the Fifth Amendment," Curran replied.

Curran's attorney, John H. Ruginski Jr., said he told his client not to testify since the case is before a federal grand jury.

Federal agents raided Curran's Providence practice in January. Curran reopened in East Greenwich, but was raided again in April.

Health officials say Curran is not licensed to practice in Rhode Island or any other state.

Colleen Brophy, Curran's wife and the owner of the East Greenwich business, has said her husband was not practicing medicine and did not present himself as a doctor.

Federal court affidavits show that Curran is being investigated for wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering in connection with the practice, the newspaper reported.