BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Online advertiser GroupOn (NASDAQ:GRPN) allegedly ran a promotion in Boca Raton for an unlicensed medical practioner, despite the fact that she was previously arrested and charged with providing medical services without a license.
The information was availble in publicly accessible databases. GroupOn was made aware of the claim this afternoon but has not yet responded to BocaNewsNow.com.
The advertiser, Sheri Goldman, offered her Botox services at a discount through GroupOn. She is not licensed to provide Botox services in the State of Florida, and was arrested in 2012 for practicing without a license.
The 58-year-old resident of Highland Beach is now back in the Palm Beach County Jail for violating probation on the pervious charge as well as the addition of a new charge of practicing without a license.
The affidavit of probable cause, obtained by BocaNewsNow.com, shows the dilligence of the Boca Raton Police Department, and raises questions about GroupOn's actions when it comes to researching its advertisers — and whether it is placing profit in front of public safety.
AFFIDAVIT OF PROBABLE CAUSE PUBLISHED VERBATIM:
PROBABLE CAUSE STATEMENT
On June 10, 2013 I received a report taken by our road patrol division. The report wastaken on June 6, 2013 over the phone from an anonymous caller. The caller wanted to reporta suspicious incident related to possible unlicensed healthcare activity. The callerstated she purchased a Groupon for six skin tightening treatment in the amount of $149.00from Beauty and Balance/Aesthetic Skin Solutions. The office is located at 950 PeninsulaCorporate Circle #3015 in the City of Boca Raton. The caller scheduled an appointment(unknown exact date/time of appt). The caller kept her appointment and met with SheriGoldman at the office. Goldman identified herself as a nurse and provided a consultationwhich lasted an extended period of time. During this time Goldman suggested the caller getBotox and fillers in lieu of the skin-tightening treatment. The Botox would cost $800.00but Goldman agreed to put the Groupon amount ($149.00) toward the purchase. According tothe caller Goldman stated that she would be performing the Botox injections. The calleragreed to schedule an appointment for the following week.
The caller later spoke with a relative who encouraged her to research Goldman online. It`sat this point she learned that Goldman was arrested in 2012 for practicing a healthcareprofession without a license. Further inquiry with the Department of Health revealedGoldman had no license on file. It is at this point the caller contacted the Boca RatonPolice Department. The caller then canceled her appointment but made no mention of hersuspicion to Goldman.
On June 11, 2013 I researched Goldman`s arrest to discover the arrest was made by the PalmBeach Sheriff`s Office, Multi-Agency Diversion Task Force (MADTF). Goldman was arrestedin July 2012 for practice of a healthcare profession with a license. Multiple Undercoveragents had posed as patients and Goldman was going to inject them with Botox. TheDepartment of Health initially issued two Uniform Unlicensed Activity Citations on July12, 2012 for unlicensed practice of medicine and unlicensed practice of nursing (DOH case11-17410). Based on those citations an Order to Cease and Desist in the practices of
medicine and nursing without a license was issued on August 2, 2012. On December 5, 2012Goldman was sentenced to two years of probation terminating on 12/4/2014. The terms of theprobation were amended to indicate a guilty plea that would be withheld following thesuccessful completion of two years of supervised probation. The special conditions of herprobation specified the following:22. On-site direct supervision by a licensed medical practitioner at her place of business23. Random inspection of business by DOH and/or law enforcement24. Notification to Florida DOH within 24 hours if the Medical Director /Practitionerleaves practice24. Abide by all conditions as required in DOH settlement in cases 2011-17410 and2011-11567.In researching Goldman`s current business, I located the occupational license (which wasobtained after her arrest) for Beauty and Balance located at 950 Peninsula CorporateCircle #3015 in the City of Boca Raton. She is the authorized representative per the Cityof Boca Raton Business Tax/Certificate of Use Application. Per the Florida Department ofState, Division of Corporations web site Sheri Goldman is the sole registered agent andManager/member for the limited liability company- Aesthetic Skin Solutions, LLC. On August13, 2012 (After Goldman`s arrest and Cease and Desist Order from DOH) the registeredfictitious name of Beauty and Balance was filed with the State or Florida by SheriGoldman. The owner was listed as Aesthetic Skin Solutions, LLC, 950 Peninsula CorporateCircle #3015, Boca Raton, FL 33487.I found the Groupon for Beauty and Balance-Boca Raton which advertised for radio-frequencyskin-tightening treatments. The description of Beauty and Balance makes the followingstatement. Sheri Heller (Goldman`s maiden name) has more than 30 years of experience as asurgical nurse she opts for treatments that eschew the operating room.Balancemybeauty.com is the "official" business web-site. The email address provided Undercontact us: is firstname.lastname@example.org. Under about us: lists Sheri Heller who is ourmanaging director and has 30 years of experience working as a surgical nurse. Under ourstaff: It does not provide any names and states that Our staff consists of highly trainedphysician assistants and nurse practitioners, along with a licensed electrologist, andestheticianOn June 11, 2013 a recorded phone call was placed to 561-212-4097 Beauty and Balancebusiness phone (per occupational license and web-site). A woman answered who eventuallyidentified herself as Sheri. The undercover officer (hereinafter referred to as UC)inquired as to the availability of the Groupon offer. Sheri explained that she would needa consultation and that she would meet her when she (UC) comes in. The UC established anappointment for Thursday (June 13, 2013) at 1030 hours for her consultation.On June 11, 2013 I obtained the caller information related to the anonymous complaint andsubsequent BRPD report. I spoke with (via phone) the complainant who was a female who hadconcerns about being identified. This was due to her personal information being in thepossession of Goldman from the consultation. The female (hereinafter referred to ascomplainant) agreed to meet me the following day and provide a sworn statement concerningher visit with Goldman.On June 12, 2013 Agent Rivers of the Palm Beach County Sheriff`s Office and I met with thecomplainant. I conducted a sworn interview/ statement with the complainant which Irecorded and placed into evidence at BRPD. A summation of the interview provided thefollowing facts according to her. Goldman had introduced herself as Sheri Goldman uponTheir initial meeting. Goldman told the complainant she was a nurse and elaborated byproviding an example and description of a medical related incident in which she had againidentified herself as a nurse. Goldman conducted a lengthy consultation during which timeshe physically placed her hands on the complainants face as to examine her features. Thecomplainant stated Goldman told her she would be performing the procedure (Botox) when shemade a follow up appointment. Aside from Goldman holding herself out as anurse/healthcare practitioner she made no further indication anyone else would beperforming the procedure. Additionally no other employees or customers were seen at thebusiness during this time. An unknown female identified only as Carla was introduced tothe complainant during the consultation as an esthetician. Carla sat in on a portion ofthe consultation.At the conclusion of the interview I conducted a photo line-up with the complainant duringthe recording. The complainant immediately picked out photo #5 in the line-up (Goldman)and told me this was Goldman. The photo line-up was also placed into evidence.On June 13, 2013 Detectives from the Boca Raton Police, VIN unit along with Investigatorsfrom the Department of Health and Probation Officers from the Department of Correctionsparticipated in an undercover operation at 950 Peninsula Corporate Circle #3015, in BocaRaton. The operation was set up by an undercover detective (UC) posing as a prospectivecustomer looking for a consultation. The appointment was set for 1030 hours. The purposewas to further establish facts showing Sheri Goldman is holding herself out as (anunlicensed) health care practitioner. The UC was provided an audio monitoring device aswell as audio/video recording. At approximately 1030 hours the UC entered the aboveaddress which is the Beauty and Balance business. The entire visit lasted approximatelytwenty minutes at which time the UC exited the business.I was able to hear the audio from the UC`s monitoring device in "real time". Atapproximately 1043 hours Sheri tells the UC "I am an OR nurse, so.. I`ve been working forplastic surgeons for fifteen, sixteen years now and uhmm just went off on my own in 2006".At the end of the consultation Sheri did explain that she would not be doing the Botox,if she (UC) wanted that the nurse practitioner that works for her, "Robin" would beavailable next Tuesday. Sheri stated she employs a plastic surgeon who works 10 miles awaywho supervises the esthetician and or "Robin". Sheri further described Robin as awellness nurse practitioner. At conclusion the UC had set up another appointment forTuesday, June 18, 2013 at 2:00pm.At the debriefing location we watched the UC video evidence and spoke with the UC. The UCprovided further insight into the consultation. The UC confirmed that while she waited inthe lobby area she could hear Sheri conducting another consultation with a femalecustomer. There were no other employees present in the office during the entire UC visit.Upon walking into Sheri`s office for the sit down visit, Sheri physically placed her handson the UC`s face as if to examine her features. This takes place prior to the actualdetailed discussion concerning the different types of procedures.Investigator Butler from the Department of Health provided me with a sworn affidavitattesting the facts of the case and the subsequent violations of law citing FloridaStatute 456.065(2)(d)(1)- Unlicensed practice of a health care profession and464.016(2)(a)- Practicing nursing without a license. Investigator Butler further provideda Certification of Non-Licensure from the Department of Health concerning Goldman`s lackState licensing for the aforementioned professions.Based on my investigation I believe probable cause exists for the following violations oflaw: Unlicensed practice of a health care profession and Violation of probation.Sheri Goldman did unlawfully practice, attempt to practice, offer to practice, or holdoneself out as a Nurse, which is a health care profession without an active, validFlorida license to practice that health care profession contrary to Florida Statute456.065 (2)(d)1.Additionally Sheri Goldman subsequently violated the terms of her probation contrary toFlorida Statute 948.06