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Fake doctor's assistant arrested in O.C.

January 30, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
He called himself a doctor's assistant, and had identification to go with it. But authorities say it was all a fake. That man is now in custody, but not before he was hired and treated patients. The district attorney is worried there could be more victims. Authorities say that Steve Martinez worked at a number of medical facilities in Orange County including the Pure Life Medical Center in Irvine. It's no longer at that location but it's where Martinez allegedly treated a patient without having a license.

Authorities allege Steve Martinez took blood from a 36-year-old man, even administered an intravenous drip, all illegal given the fact he was not qualified to do this. The 60-year-old suspect is now in custody.

"He's accused of using somebody's else's license in order to pretend that he was a physician's assistant and from there he would get hired at facilities when he wasn't actually licensed," said Rebecca Olivieri, Orange County senior deputy district attorney.

"It's very scary," said Alexandra Velez, South County Urgent Care Center. "It's very scary and I'm glad that he got caught.

Officials at the South County Urgent Care Center in San Clemente say Martinez worked there briefly several years ago. He was removed before having any contact with patients.

"He was a medical assistant and he was let go because he could not produce any documentation," said Velez.

Authorities say the allegations go back to 2006 and 2007. The state medical board started investigating after a co-worker of Martinez noticed his physician assistant license number belonged to someone else. While he was under investigation, Martinez applied for a job at the San Clemente Medi-Center.

A doctor says Martinez worked there just two or three days. Martinez was hired in 2007 after allegedly using someone else's ID, passing himself off as a physician's assistant. He also allegedly stole money from a patient who paid cash at the front desk.

Martinez claimed in his resume to have also worked at San Clemente Hospital and at Martin Luther Hospital Center in Anaheim.

"There's a reason why you need have a license ... there is a danger that could occur simply by taking somebody's blood," said Deputy D.A. Olivieri. "These people need to be trained properly and Mr. Martinez was not, so we're very concerned that there could be other patients out there that were injured by Mr. Martinez."

If you have any additional information, call the Orange County District Attorney's office at (714) 347-8814.

Martinez remains in custody and is expected to be arraigned Monday.


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