Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento TV chiropractor sentenced for posing as a doctor, bilking patients

James Joseph Martin, a Sacramento-area chiropractor who regularly appeared on local TV, was sentenced to a year in jail and five years' probation for posing as a medical doctor and charging his patients thousands of dollars for over-the-counter treatments.
James Joseph Martin, a Sacramento-area chiropractor who regularly appeared on local TV, was sentenced to a year in jail and five years' probation for posing as a medical doctor and charging his patients thousands of dollars for over-the-counter treatments. Courtesy of the Sacramento County Main Jail

A Sacramento-area chiropractor who regularly appeared on local TV was sentenced Tuesday to a year in jail and five years' probation for posing as a medical doctor and charging his patients thousands of dollars for over-the-counter treatments.

James Joseph Martin of West Sacramento regularly appeared in infomercials on "Sac & Co.," a morning show on ABC10, where he presented himself as functional neurologist, which is a chiropractic offshoot claiming to treat neurological disorders.

Martin also claimed he was a thyroid and diabetic specialist, according to a press release by the California Department of Consumer Affairs.

He ran a business called Dr. James Martin, D.PSc., the department said. The designation stands for doctor of pastoral science, which is a title used by some alternative health practitioners. The title is given out by the Pastoral Medical Association and does not require a medical degree. The Medical Board of California does not recognize or authorize the license.

On business cards and in conversations with patients, Martin misrepresented himself as a physician, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The Board of Chiropractic Examiners has cited Martin twice for his advertising.

Martin prescribed over-the-counter supplements and sold them at "significant markups" to patients, the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office said in a press release.

Some patients paid thousands of dollars for Martin's treatments.

On Wednesday, the court ordered Martin to pay restitution to victims and surrender his chiropractic license.

Complaints to the Medical Board and Board of Chiropractic Examiners triggered an investigation, and Martin was arrested in Redding in 2016.

On Feb. 9, he pleaded guilty to three counts of felony practicing medicine without a license, four counts of felony grand theft by false pretenses and misdemeanor charges of illegally using M.D. and physician in advertisements, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

Molly Sullivan: 916-321-1176, @SullivanMollyM

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