Attorney General Porrino and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs File Complaint to Stop Monmouth County Man From Illegally Practicing Medicine Without a License
NEWARK – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs have filed a complaint seeking to bar a Monmouth County man from engaging in the unlicensed practice of medicine.
The complaint was filed in Superior Court in Monmouth County against Raymond Salani, Jr., who represented himself as the sole owner of Lifestyles Medical LLC in West Long Branch. Salani, the complaint alleges, had been treating patients and writing out prescriptions despite never having possessed a license to practice medicine in New Jersey.
The Division and the State Board of Medical Examiners first sought to stop Salani from practicing medicine in 1989. He was held in contempt of court in 1994 and convicted of theft by deception in 1995, both in connection with his unlicensed practice.
"Despite repeated civil and criminal actions against the defendant, he has allegedly chosen to continue to represent himself as a physician," said Attorney General Porrino. "The egregious violations of consumer and patient protection laws alleged in this complaint will not be tolerated."
In its filing with the court, the State also sought to immediately impound records kept at Salani's West Long Branch office and any other premises where he has conducted the practice of medicine. An order granting that request was issued on April 11, and the records have been impounded.
"The defendant allegedly was prescribing medicines and ordering treatments illegally, both of which had the potential to endanger the lives of patients," said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. "The Division will take every step possible to make sure this incredibly risky behavior ends."
During its investigation of Salani's business, the Division discovered several instances where Salani and his son, Randy Salani, allegedly had offered medical advice to patients. According to the complaint, in one case, a male patient appeared to have a seizure. Salani and a doctor who was advertised as the office's medical director sought to minimize the situation and stated that a hospital evaluation of the patient was not needed despite the patient's condition.
"Such refusal bespeaks a desire to hide his unlawful conduct from the sight of the law at the detriment of his patient," a letter brief prepared by the State and accompanying the complaint reads.
The investigation also revealed that the doctor advertised as the office's medical director allegedly was not involved in the day-to-day operations there. It was Salani who interacted with new and existing patients, according to the complaint.
The Division also conducted several undercover operations in which state investigators posing as patients interacted with Salani. In both visits, investigators were given prescriptions after talking only with Salani and despite never having seen or talked to a physician.
Salani's behavior during the undercover visits constituted "willing contemptuous acts against" the order issued in 1990 to cease the unlicensed practice of medicine and a 1994 penalty for contempt of court for violating the previous order, according to the complaint.
In addition to seeking to stop Salani from the unlicensed practice of medicine and a six-month sentence for contempt, the complaint also seeks civil penalties, restitution to any and all affected persons or entities and costs associated with the prosecution of the case.
The Division's Enforcement Bureau conducted the investigation, with the assistance of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
Deputy Attorney General Bindi Merchant is representing the state in this case.