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Michael Eshghipour, the Fortuna resident who allegedly fraudulently ran Eel River Valley Dental using forged documents appeared in court Monday and has been charged with four felony counts.
According to Humboldt County court records, Mazair, also known as Michael, Eshghipour allegedly committed insurance fraud, fraudulently altered medical credentials, fraudulently used an altered medical credential, and practiced medicine without a license from July 2015 to June 2016.
Retired dentist Robert Parks said he sold his practice, Eel River Valley Dental, to Eshghipour in 2015 at the referral of another local dentist.
“We got a license from him but he forged it,” he said.
Parks then retired but heard odd things from his old staff who all kept their jobs through the ownership transition.
“He continued to use my prescription and my license number,” he said.
The staff kept digging and found no record of a license for Eshghipour, he said.
“As soon as they found out I immediately called and told them to leave the office and call the authorities,” Parks said.
He said he came out of retirement and took over his old practice to stabilize his patients and make sure they transitioned to another, licensed, dentist.
“My patients were my friends and my family so I wouldn’t sleep at night if I didn’t do that,” Parks said.
Parks retired again, for good, in May this year and Eel River Valley Dental is no longer operating.
According to a Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office news release, the Fortuna Police Department and DA’s office investigated this case extensively and arrested Eshghipour on June 30, 2016. He was later released on his own recognizance.
“Today, Mr. Eshghipour made an initial appearance in Humboldt Superior Court,” the DA’s office release, issued on Monday, reads. “He did not enter a plea. The matter was continued to October 2, 2017. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Tobias Hasler, who specializes in insurance fraud crimes.”
He appeared for an arraignment on a complaint and according to court records would have had a warrant issued for his arrest had he not shown up.
Eshghipour is due in court for his continued complaint arraignment on Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m., according to court records.
He faces one felony charge of making false statements for an insurance claim, felony possessing an altered certificate to practice medicine, felony using a fraudulent certificate, and felony practicing medicine without a license, according to court records.
“He was just deceitful, a con man,” Parks said. “He conned a lot of people so I don’t think he should be on the street.”
Content retrieved from http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20170725/NEWS/170729896