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Top 10: Quackiest Quacks

MDNG Primary Care, September 2007, Volume 9, Issue 9

The Top 10 "Quackiest Quacks."

10 Maria “Anne” Campbell — Pled guilty in October 2003 to mail fraud for falsifying data related to the number

of people in a study she helped conduct for the approved-no-thanks-to-her antibiotic Ketek and sending it to Aventis.

9 Lewis Gottlieb — Member of the “wheelchair scam,”who admitted in 2004 that, beginning in October 2001, he received as much as $200 in kickbacks for each certificate of medical necessity (CMN) he signed approving a Medicare beneficiary to obtain a motorized wheelchair, also requiring patients to sign a form indicating they needed psychiatric services, which they didn’t, or he wouldn’t sign for the wheelchair.

8 Callie Hall Herpin — Also involved in the wheelchair scam, and—with her office manager, Etta Mae Williams—wrote at least 920 fraudulent motorized wheelchair CMNs for mostly ineligible patients. The duo also “sold” hundreds of unnecessary prescriptions for hydrocodone and promethazine with codeine.

7 Robert Barefoot — Claims to be a doctor on numerous websites and in commercials pushing “Coral Calcium” as a cure-all for various diseases, but has no MD or PhD, and was actually barred from providing expert testimony in a case involving T-Up (see below), because “he has not had any professionally supported or professionally supervised training in [organic chemistry and biochemistry], nor has he done any professionally competent research in these areas.” Under a settlement following charges from the Federal Trade Commission in 2003, Barefoot is prohibited from “making claims that the dietary supplement ‘Coral Calcium Supreme’ or any other coral calcium product can treat or cure cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, and other serious diseases.”

6 Donald MacNay — Sentenced to prison for three years, following a guilty plea to fraud and conspiracy charges for involvement in two businesses that charged more than 3,000 people—one of whom died following “treatment”—as much as $18,000 for two weeks of non-FDA-approved intravenous aloe vera (T-Up) to “amp up” the immune system and treat such serious diseases as AIDS and cancer.

5 Kurt Donsbach — Pled guilty in 1971 to one count of practicing medicine without a license. The Arizona NaturopathicPhysicians Board of Examiners in 1988 revoked his license of naturopathy after determining he used a diploma from a school that never existed, which was created by altering photocopies of a diploma from another school. He was also ordered, along with his nephew, to stop claiming that a hydrogen peroxide solution they sold could prevent cancer and ease arthritis pain. Donsbach pled guilty in 1996 to smuggling unapproved drugs into the US, as well as not paying income tax on what he made selling them. And these are just the lowlights!

4 Hulda Regehr Clark — Claims that all cancers and many other diseases are caused by “parasites, toxins, and pollutants” and that she can detect them with her Syncrometer and kill them with her “Zapper.” In 1999, she was arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license, only to get off for failure to receive a speedy trial. In 2001, Clark’s Century Nutrition clinic in Mexico was ordered to be shut down, because it wasn’t registered and was operating without a license.

3 Jerry Jackson Lee II — Performed a hysterectomy on a pregnant woman, causing suspension of clinical privileges and a probationary period starting in May 1999, which he lied about on a privileges renewal form for a different hospital. Lee was convicted in June 2007 of the aggravated sexual battery of a 9-year-old girl.

2 Owen Murphy Panner, Jr. — Convicted in July 2007 of using hidden cameras to film the pelvic and breast

examinations of two minor females.

1 Thomas G. Merrill — Sentenced to life imprisonment on 18 counts of wire fraud, five counts of defrauding healthcare benefit programs that lead to two deaths, and 75 counts of distribution of controlled substances in excessive and inappropriate quantities without monitoring that led to four deaths