Fake Doctor Convicted of Practicing Medicine without a License

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
January 12, 2014

On January 9, 2014, a San Diego jury found Keith Allen Barton, 51, guilty of six felony counts of treating patients without a medical license, one count of false personation, and three counts related to grand theft. According to the District Attorney’s news release:

  • Barton is not licensed as a medical doctor, osteopath, or naturopath but shares his name with a real medical doctor who is licensed in California. Barton used the fact that only his middle name differed from the real Dr. Barton to create the impression that he was a licensed professional.
  • Barton promised to cure a woman and her children of HIV. One of the children subsequently died as a result of not receiving effective treatment. The victim paid Barton $18,000 for the treatment.
  • Barton also advised a woman with autoimmune disease to surgically extract all of her teeth and to take an ineffective treatment called “Dendritic Cellular Therapy.” This victim paid Barton more than $32,000 for his remedies.
  • Barton also offered to treat cancer patients.
  • The jury announced their verdict after two days of deliberations. Barton faces up to eight years and 10 months in local prison at sentencing on February 10 [1].

Barton did business as the International Holistic Health Clinic. A woman who complained to the Better Business Bureau of San Diego provided the following account:

My father was diagnosed in 2003 with “Colon Cancer”. He then underwent surgery and Chemotheraphy. In 2006 it had reoccured. He spoke with a gentleman who also had a form of cancer and told my father to call Mr. Barton. My father contacted him and we met him at a horse farm in Danville, KY. He asked for $8,000 up front! After that we flew out to San Diego where he would then start treating my father. He took us over to Tiajuana, Mexico to proceed with the procedure. The first place we went to was a dentist office. They took x-rays of my fathers teeth and then told my dad he would need around $12,000 to pull out his teeth and replace them with dentures. My father already had partials in his mouth and so we asked why he would have to undergo this kind of treatment again. His reply was “The doctors in the United States do not do it right”!I was confused because he was not even the one doing the procedure and was having other Mexican doctors lined up to take care of my father.While staying at the hotel we talked to this elder lady who was there for the same thing going back and forth to Mexico for treatment.WE began discussing thing going on and started questioning things so we than went to look for his office that he had listed. When we pulled up, it learned that it was just simply a “FEd Ex Shipping” building. This did not make any since to us. When we returned home my father was sending Dr, Barton $1,500 a week for what he referred to as DENDRITIC CELL THERAPY VACCINES.My father continued to have chemotherephy every week when we returned home. Even after taking these shots and have Dr. ****** assure to my family that this would cure my father of the deadly disease of cancer, we learned that this was a hoaX and that he was only in it for the money! He was making my father buy all of these vitamins and supplements that we have never heard of. My fathers chemotheraphy doctor took labs every week and the numbers werent decreasing. In april 2009, my father passed away with Colon Cancer [2].

The BBB Web site states that Barton failed to respond to the BBB’s attempt to resolve or address the complaint issues.

  1. Guilty verdict for man for practicing medicine without a license: Defendant promised to cure HIV, cancer with unapproved remedy. San Diego County District Attorney news release, Jan 10, 2014.
  2. Complaint. Better Business Bureau of San Diego, Sept 24, 2012. Accessed Jan 11, 2014.

This article was posted on January 12, 2014.