'Natural doctor' charged with felonies

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. Prosecutors allege Daryn Peterson is not a licensed doctor, but a modern-day snake-oil salesman.

"I've tested this hundreds of times with my food allergy patients," said Peterson on a commercial.

The 37-year-old self-proclaimed "natural doctor" faces charges after an undercover investigator posing as a lymphoma cancer patient signed up on Peterson's Web site. The investigator then later met at Peterson's apartment in Mira Loma for treatment.

"Mr. Peterson is accused of telling him not to take chemotherapy and he would be cured within a year if he just took the vitamins he recommended," said Susan Kang Schroeder, spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Peterson's Web site claims the medicine is all-natural and chemical-free, and has proven to be most effective in stopping and oftentimes reversing illness, even cancer.

The site claims Nature's Health Care Group can help people become healthy without drugs and without surgery.

"It frightens me that people think he's being sincere and they may very well go off their medications or their chemo and end up getting worse," said Mission Viejo resident Sharlene Pack.

Authorities allege Peterson at one time ran his business using a mail drop box in Mission Viejo and treated his patients in his home.

Peterson is also accused of illegally offering people an insurance plan or HMO not licensed by the state. Authorities are not sure how many people gave Peterson money or received treatment, or if anyone's condition grew worse.

If you received products or treatment from Peterson, the Orange County District Attorney would like you to call (714) 648-3620.

Eyewitness News did try to reach Peterson for comment, and had not returned calls Friday. He's expected to make a court appearance later next month.

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