Friday, February 12, 2010

OCR promoted, Natural-Cancer Curing Quacker Naturally Pleads Guilty

OCR promoted, Natural-Cancer Curing Quacker Naturally Pleads Guilty

Posted By CotoBlogzz 02-12-2010

SANTA ANA, CA - Daryn Wayne Peterson, claiming to be a natural-medicine "doctor" was sentenced yesterday for posing as a "doctor" and claiming to heal serious or incurable diseases including cancer and AIDS.  Daryn Wayne Peterson, 37, Las Vegas, NV, pleaded guilty Dec. 8, 2009, to one felony count each of the unauthorized practice of medicine, operating a health care service plan (HMO) without a license, offering an unapproved drug for cancer treatment, and one misdemeanor count of selling misbranded food. Peterson was sentenced to five years of formal probation, 270 days in jail, and is prohibited from working in any medical field or selling any vitamins or pharmaceuticals for the duration of his probation.

On June 10, 2009, the Orange County Register published a color-picture article on the front page of the Life/Wellness section of the newspaper titled A rejection of Western medicine with subheading, Clients swear by natural treatments, but many others doubtful. An online version of the same story was posted the day before with the headline, 'Natural doctor' says he can cure cancer, AIDS.

The article featured Peterson, a self-proclaimed doctor, claiming to cure cancer and AIDS, and encouraging "patients" to cancel their health insurance policies.  In the article, Peterson represented that his supplements have cured "cancer, AIDS, peanut allergies and heart failure." That morning, alarmed by the potential health risks to the community and the recklessness of the article, the OCDA began an investigation into the matter.

The defendant practiced medicine without possessing any professional licenses issued by the State of California. In order to practice medicine in this State, a doctor must pass comprehensive medical exams and be licensed by the State of California to practice medicine and dispense prescriptions. Licensed California doctors are regulated by the California Medical Board to ensure the safe medical treatment of the public. Other medical professionals are governed by their own licensing boards and provide limits to their scope of practice.

Peterson falsely claimed to be a doctor with a PhD diploma from "Canterbury University." OCDA Investigators determined that "Canterbury University" is not a real learning institution and were able to obtain the exact same PhD diploma from the same "Canterbury University" by paying $180 on the Internet.

Peterson operated Natural Health Care Organization (, a website offering "Natural Health Insurance" and claiming to provide pre-paid "subscribers" with unlimited access by email, telephone or in person to their "own Natural Doctor," who has "success in stopping disease without drugs and surgery." None of the purported "doctors" listed on the website are licensed to practice medicine in California. Peterson posted "testimonials" on the website, claiming to be from "patients," asserting that Natural Health Care Organization "doctors" have cured diseases including leukemia, diabetes, Crohn's disease, prostate cancer, migraines, and restless leg syndrome.  Peterson also falsely represented his healthcare supplements as organic, labeling them with United States Department of Agriculture seals on the packaging, despite none of his products being organic.

At the time the article was published, the defendant ran his business using a mail drop-box located on Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo and treated his "patients" in his Orange County residence. In the course of the investigation, an undercover OCDA Investigator signed up on Peterson's website as a potential "patient." Peterson communicated with the "patient" online, and later met the "patient" at his apartment in Mira Loma, CA.

After hearing that the "patient" had been diagnosed with lymphoma and was scared of the chemotherapy recommended by his doctor, Peterson told the "patient" that he treats many cancer patients, that the chemotherapy would kill him faster than the cancer, and boasted an 88 percent success rate in treating all types of cancer, including Lymphoma. Peterson told the "patient" that he could "expect almost complete reversal" within one year of taking his "all-natural" vitamins and natural supplements on a daily basis.  He performed a medical examination of the "patient," including listening to his heart while asking him to breathe and looking in his eyes.

Peterson prescribed his personal healthcare supplement, "Dr. P's Mega-Multi 100" to the undercover investigator "patient." He instructed the "patient" to take six teaspoons per day to cure his lymphoma. The OCDA had the substance analyzed and the results showed that two teaspoons of "Dr. P's Mega-Multi 100" contained more than six times the daily legal limit of lead. Peterson's prescription to the "patient," who was ostensibly battling cancer, would have subjected the "patient" to more than 18 times the daily legal limit of lead.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the California Department of Health Care Services have not approved any of the supplements recommended by Peterson for the treatment of cancer. Doctors are authorized by law to represent that they have an effective treatment for cancer only if the drug has been approved by the FDA. A medical "drug" is defined as anything approved by the FDA for treatment of a specific disease.

Peterson also offered patients an "insurance" plan or an HMO not licensed by the California Department of Managed Health Care or the Department of Insurance, as required by law. California law prohibits unauthorized and unlicensed businesses from offering pre-paid health services to protect consumers and patients from being defrauded. The law protects consumers from not receiving health care for which treatments were paid in advance.

Peterson is related to one of the "patients" featured in the Orange County Register story. His biological sister, Selena Lori Peterson, merely dropped her last name for the Orange County Register story, which did not address the relationship between Peterson and his "patients." The male "patient" featured in the story was Selena Lori Peterson's boyfriend.

Deputy District Attorney Lesley Young of the Consumer Protection Unit prosecuted this case.

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