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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Owner of Cancer Treatment Clinic Convicted of Providing Fraudulent Medical Treatments to Patients

A jury sitting in the Northern District of Oklahoma convicted a former owner of Lase Med Inc., a purported cancer treatment clinic, today of committing a fraudulent scheme claiming to cure patients’ cancer, announced U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Following a 15-day trial before U.S. District Judge James H. Payne, a jury found Antonella Carpenter, 71, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, guilty on 29 of the 41 counts alleged in a superseding indictment and were unable to come to a unanimous decision on three counts of the superseding indictment.

Carpenter was charged with five counts of inducing persons to travel in interstate commerce in an effort to defraud them of at least $5,000; 34 counts of using interstate wire communications to defraud patients; and two counts of using the United States mails in furtherance of a fraudulent scheme.  Carpenter was indicted by a grand jury in August 2014 and a superseding indictment was filed on Oct. 15, 2014.

“The defendant preyed upon and lured her patients to her purported clinic in order to defraud them of money,” said U.S. Attorney Williams.  “Today’s conviction demonstrates the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s commitment to ensuring justice is served for victims and their family members.  Together with the FDA we are protecting individuals who were victimized by this fraudulent medical scheme.  This should be a deterrent and warning to those who intend to defraud and take advantage of peoples’ situations.”

According to documents filed in this case and evidence presented at trial:

From November 2006 to December 2012, Carpenter, a physicist and not a medical doctor, orchestrated a scheme to obtain money from cancer patients by means of false and fraudulent representations.  Carpenter made materially false claims to patients about her treatment method called “Light Induced Enhanced Selective Hyperthemia” (LIESH), including that the treatments were 100 percent effective and there would be no negative side effects.

In addition, Carpenter claimed to cure various kinds of cancers, when in fact, she would inject a patient’s tumor with a mixture consisting of saline solution and food coloring or walnut hull extract.  She would then heat the injected area with a laser.  Carpenter operated a clinic in Broken Arrow and Owasso, Oklahoma.

At the time of sentencing, Carpenter faces up to 10 years in prison for inducing persons to travel in interstate commerce in an effort to defraud them of at least $5,000; and up to 20 years in prison on the remaining charges.  Also as part of her sentence, a criminal forfeiture money judgment will be entered against the defendant in an amount of approximately $1,102,160 representing proceeds obtained as a result of her fraudulent scheme.

U.S. Attorney Williams credited special agents of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin C. Leitch, Clemon Ashley and Catherine Depew with the prosecution.

Updated February 10, 2016