JOINT INVESTIGATION LEADS TO TWO ARRESTS IN AVENTURA
TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health’s Miami Unlicensed Activity (ULA) Unit today announced that a joint investigation with the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Intracoastal District and Organized Crime Unit has led to the arrest of Alberto J. Lobo and Ruth M. Cula for the practice of unlicensed medicine, a third-degree felony punishable by up to one year in jail. Ms. Cula was also arrested for the unlicensed practice of massage therapy.
The joint operation was conducted based upon an anonymous complaint received by the department’s Unlicensed Activity Office in Miami. The complaint stated that New Image Life Spa, located at 18790 West Dixie Highway in Aventura, was performing permanent makeup and Botox services without a license. In addition, the complaint alleged that unlicensed massage therapy was being conducted. On the spa’s website, they advertised Botox in six areas of the face and provided videos describing services offered at the spa. Undercover investigations led to the arrests.
The Department has several resources to combat unlicensed activity:
- Consumers are encouraged to use the Department’s web site at www.flhealthsource.com where they can view the license information of their health care practitioner.
- Complaints may be filed anonymously by completing and mailing the complaint form on the Department’s website, or calling 1-877-HALT-ULA.
The Department’s ULA program protects Florida residents and visitors from the potentially serious consequences of receiving health care services from an unlicensed person. The Department’s Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) investigates and refers for prosecution all unlicensed health care activity complaints and allegations. The Unlicensed Activity Unit works in conjunction with law enforcement and the state attorney’s offices to prosecute individuals practicing without a license. In many instances, unlicensed activity is a felony-level criminal offense. More importantly, receiving health care from unlicensed people is dangerous and could result in further injury, disease or even death.
Working in conjunction with 22 boards and six councils, MQA regulates seven types of facilities and 200-plus license types in more than 40 healthcare professions. MQA evaluates the credentials of all applicants for licensure, issues licenses, analyzes and investigates complaints, inspects facilities, assists in prosecuting practice act violations, combats unlicensed activity, and provides credential and discipline history about licensees to the public. Visit http://www.flhealthsource.com for additional information about MQA.
The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. During 2014, the Department is recognizing 125 years of public health in Florida with educational opportunities and events. Please visit www.FLHealth125.gov for more information.
CONTACT: DOH Communications, (850) 245-4111