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Latino Daily News

Thursday December 29, 2011

Man Pretending to be Doctor Preyed on Sick in Stem Cell Scheme

Man Pretending to be Doctor Preyed on Sick in Stem Cell Scheme

Photo: Man Pretending to be Doctor Preyed on Sick in Stem Cell Scheme

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A man known to many as “Dr. Frank” has been arrested for preying on desperate patients with incurable diseases.

Francisco Morales, 52, is said to have used stem cells from the umbilical cords of women who had given birth at a border area hospital and used them in a scheme to con those in Brownsville, TX with incurable diseases into believing these stem cells were their cure.

Along with Morales, three others have either been arrested or have a warrant out. Tuesday, Alberto Roman, 48, of Del Rio, TX, and Vicent Dammai, 40, of South Carolina were arrested. A warrant has been issued and police are lookin for Lawrence Stowe, 58, of Dallas.

According to the indictment, Roman is a licensed midwife and owner of the Maternity Care Clinic where the umbilical cords were obtained. The mothers believed the cords were being donated to a research facility. However, Dammai, a researcher and assistant pathology professor at the Medical University of South Carolina was actually selling the stem cells to Global Laboratories LLC for whom was a consultant, and the cells were then sold to Morales for the unauthorized procedures on the sick.

Records show Morales received at least 10 shipments form Global Laboratories. With stem cells in hand, he traveled around the U.S. claiming to be a doctor involved with stem cell research at Harvard, Duke, and UCLA.

In total, it’s estimated that Morales made more than $1.5 million in the scheme, which he ran between January 2007 and April 2010.

Tuesday, a federal judge unsealed records of charges against Morales.