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Pa. siblings in unlicensed doctor medical malpractice probe

Luzerne County officials say a sister and brother are under investigation for fraud. The siblings may have posed as doctors to bilk an unnamed victim out of $20,000 for help with a medical malpractice determination.

No charges were filed, although police confiscated files and computers concerning the medical malpractice case from the siblings' Kingston home. The specifics of the connection between the alleged victim and the false health care professionals have not been made public.

The brother and sister have unusual histories that involve the health care industry. The 61-year-old sister became a licensed doctor in 1979. During the 1990s, the physician worked for a state hospital and later opened a private practice in Pittston. She moved in with her brother in Kingston earlier this year.

The sister was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges in Scranton in 1999. She and her husband apparently swapped prescription medications for illegal drugs during the mid-1990s in Wilkes-Barre. The state suspended the doctor's license to practice.

State records say the suspected Luzerne County brother did not have a license to practice medicine. Records show the man was working as a forensics investigator in 1993. Apparently the brother was also part of a professional evaluation involving the poisoning murder of a Luzerne County man.

Local law enforcement officials are investigating whether the unlicensed sibling "physicians" were practicing medical malpractice while working on a medical malpractice case. Police would not reveal further case details to the media. The victim apparently contacted the local district attorney's office months ago, although that person's identity remains a secret.

Pennsylvania patients place enormous trust in doctors. A doctor's misdiagnosis, a surgeon's mistake in surgery or a harmful medication places a patient at risk of harm or death. The most flagrant violation of the medical profession may be individuals who dupe patients into believing they are doctors to take advantage of them.

Source: pennlive.com, "Authorities Raid Kingston Home In Medical Fraud Investigation," Sept. 12, 2012

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