Alleged Phony Doctor Faces Victims in Court

Keith Barton allegedly treated cancer and HIV patients.

January 10, 2014, 9:39 AM

Jan. 10, 2014— -- A California man is on trial after he allegedly posed as a doctor and treated desperate cancer and HIV patients, taking their money in the process.

Keith Barton, 51, is currently on trial in San Diego for multiple charges including grand theft, treating patients without a medical license and false impersonation of a doctor.

According to court documents, for three years Barton allegedly catered to patients with cancer and HIV, taking thousands of dollars from his "patients" for treatments that didn't work. According to court documents, Barton impersonated a licensed doctor from the San Francisco area who shared both his first and last name.

On Wednesday, undercover video taken by investigators from the California state medical board was viewed in court and showed how Barton claimed his expertise.

The video shows Barton animatedly speaking to a woman he thought was a cancer patient.

"I handle everything from top to bottom," Barton said in the video. "I'm a specialist. I'm a cancer specialist. I'm an HIV specialist."

The video was recorded by an investigator from the Medical Board of California who was impersonating a patient.

She was told by Barton that his treatment, which cost an initial $8,760, would "cure her cancer," according to ABC News affiliate KGTV in San Diego.

"By posing as a doctor and charging thousands of dollars for a phony cure, this defendant showed callous disregard for his victims and the medical field," San Diego district attorney Bonnie Dumanis said in a statement when Barton was arrested last year.

The husband of one patient testified that his wife was left disfigured by treatment Barton recommended after they took "a lot of bone from her jaw" and performed multiple dental implants, according to KGTV.

Allegedly Barton accompanied the couple to Mexico, where the unidentified woman had surgery. The prosecutor's office would not comment on who allegedly performed the surgery.

In addition to the undercover video, witnesses testified about the physical harm Barton caused his "patients."

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Barton cared for multiple patients with HIV, according to court documents. Prosecutors allege that one 9-year-old girl died after receiving ineffective treatment after her mother paid Barton $18,000, according to KGTV.

The girl's mother, identified as Lisa, told the court that after her daughter was admitted to the hospital, she called Barton to have the money returned and he started to yell at her over the phone.

"His voice got very sharp with me and I suppose I should have believed it but I couldn't believe it ... that somebody didn't have compassion for my little girl, because I was so afraid for her and he didn't even care," Lisa told the court, according to KGTV.

The jury is currently deliberating the verdict. If convicted on all counts, Barton could spend 10 years in prison.

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