The Albany prosecutors were elated. "This should put them out of business," Assistant District Attorney Christopher Baynes gloated to the media.

Many anti-aging doctors simply check patients' testosterone or growth-hormone levels, pronounce them "deficient," and then prescribe the drugs as a remedy.

But five years later, many principals in the case are right back in the Florida anti-aging game. Despite his felony conviction in New York, Glenn Stephanos has a new clinic three miles south of the former offices of the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center, according to state records. His business is called Palm Beach Preventative. Its website offers "testosterone therapy" and "bio-identical hormone replacement."

"We only do hormone therapy," a woman at the clinic tells a reporter and directs calls to a "counselor" who can do blood tests. Stephanos did not respond to a message left with his assistant.

Former clients say Tony Bosch posed as a doctor while selling HGH, steroids, and testosterone at his Coral Gables clinic, Biogenesis.
Miami-Dade Police Department
Former clients say Tony Bosch posed as a doctor while selling HGH, steroids, and testosterone at his Coral Gables clinic, Biogenesis.
A 2007 raid on the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center was the result of the biggest anti-aging sting in Florida history. But many charged in that case are now back in business.
C. Stiles
A 2007 raid on the Palm Beach Rejuvenation Center was the result of the biggest anti-aging sting in Florida history. But many charged in that case are now back in business.

Stephanos isn't the only criminal tied to a Florida anti-aging facility. In 2001, Javier Fernando Murcia founded a Hollywood clinic called Modern Therapy. Six years earlier, the Colombian-born businessman had been caught at 1:30 a.m. in the parking lot of a Fort Lauderdale business that had been repeatedly robbed; an officer found a flashlight, a crowbar, and a hammer in Murcia's car. He was arrested and charged with felony prowling and possession of burglary tools (adjudication on both charges was later withheld by a judge). In 1997, he and an accomplice were arrested for trying to steal nitrous oxide from Columbia Medical Center (those charges were dropped.) In 2000, he was sentenced to a year in jail for a series of DUIs and was even arrested while in custody at a work-release house for stealing juice from a fridge.

Six years after Murcia opened Modern Therapy, Sports Illustrated reported the clinic had sold performance-enhancing drugs to Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons. Modern Therapy closed in 2011 but reopened last year registered to Maria Murcia. State business records show it's currently based in a Hollywood home owned by "Fernando Murcia." Reached by phone, Maria Murcia confirmed the business had once been owned by Javier but declined to put a reporter in touch with him. Asked about his relationship to the current clinic, she said, "That's private information" and hung up.

Others nabbed in Operation Which Doctor were allowed to keep their Florida licenses despite felony pleas in New York. Take Signature Pharmacy's owners, Naomi and Robert "Stan" Loomis. This past February, their business pleaded guilty to a felony count of criminal sale of a controlled substance and agreed to pay $100,000 in fines; adjudication was withheld on the couple's own felony charges.

Florida allowed the Loomises to keep practicing, and Signature Pharmacy is again registered as an active business in Winter Park. Naomi Loomis is now a pharmacist for Olympia Pharmacy, a compounding facility based in Orlando with a website that advertises "hormone consultations" and sells HCG and "testosterone therapy." Stan Loomis did not respond to multiple messages left at Olympia. In 2008, the couple sued David Soares, Albany's district attorney, alleging he violated their civil rights with his mass prosecution; they dropped that case in February.

Palm Beach Rejuvenation's Dr. Robert Carlson is also back in business. The Sarasota-based heart surgeon who signed off on prescriptions for $5,000 per week was charged with seven felonies. He pleaded guilty to one count of insurance fraud and agreed to pay a $300,000 fine. He later appealed that plea deal, and his case remains open in New York.

Florida's Board of Medicine fined Carlson $10,000 and ordered him to take a rules course and perform 50 hours of community service but allowed him to keep his license. He recently opened a new clinic, the Ändlös Institute, which offers hormone replacement therapy and HCG weight loss. He did not respond to an email or a message at his office.

Other clinics are run by physicians with questionable records. Take Broward County's Royal Men's Medical Center, which offers testosterone and hormone therapy. The head of the Deerfield Beach business, Dr. Dagoberto Rodriguez, pleaded guilty to battery in Hillsborough County back in 1986. When he applied for his medical license in 1990, he lied about the case, answering "no" to a question about whether he'd ever pleaded guilty to a crime. He did the same in 1999 when renewing his license. Two years later, the DOH charged him with falsifying his application, eventually only fining him $1,000 and requiring him to take an education course. (Monica Rodriguez, an attorney representing the doctor, says that the Hillsborough County charge was related to a fight that happened at a college rugby game and that the problems with his license applications were a misunderstanding. "This is not, in the scheme of things, a big deal," she says.)


In Florida, those caught selling anti-aging drugs without proper documentation rarely face charges. Take the case of Pharmacy RX Solutions, a Tampa facility with a website that notes it specializes in "hormone replacement therapy" and custom mixes of testosterone and HCG.

In June, a DOH inspector found the facility was open with no licensed pharmacist on hand, a violation of state rules. Then he discovered shipments without proper paperwork. Drugs were being compounded without sterilization and testing for dangerous impurities. The department issued an emergency order last month shuttering the business, but the order was lifted after 20 days and pharmacist Adria Jackson has kept her license. A DOH complaint against the pharmacy is pending. (Ed Bayó, an attorney for the pharmacy, says DOH's emergency order was inappropriate. Jackson was attending to a "family emergency" the morning she wasn't in the pharmacy and the other issues were quickly dealt with, he says. "I'm reasonably confident the pending cases against the pharmacy will be dismissed," he says.)

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8 comments
teachintv
teachintv

How many people have to suffer, die or become dismembered before Rick Scott and his Tea Bag minions are completely discredited and repudiated? This is only ONE area where the State has failed the people. There are so many illegalities going on in cosmetic surgery, gynecology, back room dentistry (particularly in Hialeah), and even drug abuse "rehab" that touch at least as many lives as misleading and mismanaged steroid distributors. Rick Scott has abused this state to feather his own nest, waiting to emerge from the Governor's office with more wealth than he ever imagined. 

Firip Onitsuka
Firip Onitsuka

You misspelled Stupid. W-I-L-L-I-N-G is not even close to S-T-U-P-I-D.

John Viera
John Viera

That open casket dude was ripped.

John Dudley
John Dudley

Florida is the only state that doesn't have laws.

Victor Runciman
Victor Runciman

Biogenesis should move to Lincoln, NE or Tuscaloosa, AL ... those 2 places are fitting for the pharmaceutical!

Steve Klare
Steve Klare

Heh if you want unfettered use of Marijuana same goes for this.Can't regulate one without the other

 
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