SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. District Court Judge Aida Delgado sentenced Juan Carlos Pérez-Camacho to three years’ probation for fraud and misuse of a visa in relation with a I-130, Petition for Relative Alien application, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
According to the facts admitted during the change of plea hearing, Pérez-Camacho was a national of Colombia who had been practicing dentistry without a license in Puerto Rico since 2018. Customs and Border Protection records showed that the defendant had been continuously entering and exiting the United States as a B1/B2 visa holder, for either business or tourism purposes, since as early as 2015. On May 23, 2019, the defendant knowingly made a false statement under oath with respect to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services application form. He stated that he had never worked in the United States without authorization and that he never violated the terms or conditions of his non-immigration status. Pérez-Camacho knew his answers were false since he had worked in 2018 and 2019 in Puerto Rico without authorization in an unlicensed dental practice.
“We are seeing an upward trend of foreign persons traveling to PR to illegally practice medicine and dentistry, and we need to be aware of these doctors and urge the community not to give them the opportunity to practice illegally in PR,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect the public from misbranded products, and to ensure that doctors are practicing medicine legally.”
“The Diplomatic Security Service is firmly committed to working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate visa fraud, especially when the health and safety our citizens are unnecessarily placed at risk,” said Walter Rios, the newly appointed Resident Agent-In-Charge of the DSS San Juan Resident Office. “Traveling to the U.S. with the purpose of illegally practicing medical professions is a growing trend and a very serious matter that DSS is addressing with the help and support of our interagency partners”.
“American patients rely on the FDA to ensure that their prescription drugs and devices are safe and effective,” said Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fiedler, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Miami Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who threaten the health of consumers by evading FDA requirements.”
“HSI San Juan is committed to protecting the well-being of our citizens. Today’s conviction highlights our dedication to work closely with our federal and local partners to bring violators to justice and guarantee public safety,” said Ivan Arvelo, Special Agent in Charge, HSI San Juan.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, and the Department of Homeland Security. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney José Ruiz Santiago.