CRIME
01/13/2014 10:37 am ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

Keith Barton Guilty: Phony Doctor Claimed He Could Cure Cancer And HIV, Scammed Victims

A La Mesa, Calif., man who posed as a doctor and told patients he could cure cancer and HIV has been found guilty.

Keith Barton, 51, was convicted on six felony counts of treating people without a medical license, one count of false personation, and three counts related to grand theft, Fox San Diego reports. A San Diego Superior Court jury deliberated for two days before reaching a verdict on Jan. 10.

Barton lied to patients, practiced without a license, and sold bogus treatments for large sums of money, according to ABC 10 News.

"I handle everything from top to bottom," Barton said in undercover video shot by state medical board investigators, which was shown to the jury. "I'm a specialist. I'm a cancer specialist. I'm an HIV specialist."

Prosecutors said Barton, who shares a first and last name with a real, licensed doctor in California, used that fact to create the impression that he was a certified doctor. His credentials were phony, but the consequences for his patients were real.

"He sold a remedy that was a 'snake oil,' for lack of a better term, for substantial amounts of money, $18,000 to one victim and $13,000 to another victim," Deputy District Attorney Gina Darvas said outside court Friday. "He also prescribed treatments that were harmful and dangerous, and the victims suffered some tragic results."

Barton promised a woman that he could cure her children of HIV. Prosecutors said that one of the children, a 9-year-old girl, died as a result of not receiving effective treatment.

Another victim -- a 60-year-old woman -- had her teeth and part of her jaw removed after going to see Barton for auto-immune disease. He charged the woman $32,000 for an ineffectual procedure he called “dendritic cellular therapy."

Barton is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 10. He faces a term of up to eight years and 10 months, which he would likely serve in county jail.

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