PAYSON, Utah, Nov. 3, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Payson man has been jailed after police say he was practicing medicine without a license from his residence for a period of many years, and targeting a vulnerable population for financial gain.
An initial complaint filed in the case says the suspect, 65-year-old Edgar Flores, only accepted patients who were illegal immigrants and who were referred to him.
“Furthermore, the initial complainant reported that due to the malpractice, a
patient had been permanently disfigured,” says a probable cause statement filed by a detective with the Payson Police Department.
“After a joint investigation with the Utah Attorney General’s Office, it was found that Edgar Flores was not licensed in the State of Utah to either practice medicine or to dispense any prescriptions or controlled substances.”
An undercover agent went to Flores in September of this year posing as a patient, the probable cause statement says.
“During that (undercover) operation, Edgar Flores misdiagnosed the undercover agent with Multiple Sclerosis, along with other ailments,” it says. “Mr. Flores then demanded payments of multiple thousands of dollars in cash for medical services, which he said he would conduct at his residence.
“Mr. Flores also said that he would be able to ‘cure’ the undercover agent of the illness with his medical treatments, but said multiple times that the undercover agent needed to keep the medical treatments ‘confidential.'”
A search warrant was executed on Tuesday of this week.
“As a result of the search warrant, numerous medical supplies and medical instruments were located inside the home,” the affidavit says. “In addition, numerous medical records and a large amount of cash was also found. Along with the medical supplies, records and cash, fraudulent identification documents of Social Security cards, and State of Utah driver’s licenses were located.”
Flores faces initial charges of:
- Communications fraud, a second-degree felony
- Pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony
- Two counts of forgery — alters writing of another without authority, a third-degree felony
- Selling, dispensing or trafficking in prescription drugs, a third-degree felony
- Unlawful/unprofessional conduct — practicing, a third-degree felony
The communications fraud is for “fraudulently misdiagnosing the undercover agent with a disease with the intent of obtaining monetary compensation for unnecessary treatments,” the statement says.
“Fraudulent prescription pads were found in the search, as were prescription medications which Mr. Flores was injecting into patients without the authority to do so” since he is not licensed to practice medicine in the state of Utah.
“Many years worth of medical records were located inside Mr. Flores’s home with multiple different patients’ names,” the statement says. “This shows Mr. Flores has been practicing medicine out of his home for an extended period of time.”
The search also found what appeared to be Social Security and Utah driver licenses, “Both of which were not issued by the Federal Government of the State of Utah.”
A judge granted the filing officer’s request that Flores be held without bail.
“Mr. Flores is an extreme flight risk,” the officer’s statement says. “Mr. Flores has frequent contact with people inside Mexico. He is originally from Mexico and receives all of his medical supplies from there.”
If released, Flores “will likely continue to see patients and expose the vulnerable immigrant population to further harm,” the statement says.
And because the investigation is ongoing, “further criminal charges could be filed by the Attorney General’s Office,” the probable cause statement says. “This investigation includes potential charges of object rape and other sex offenses, in addition to other crimes related to fraud and medical malpractice. It should be noted that Mr. Flores has prior criminal convictions for sex offenses in Utah.”