TUCSON - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Dr. Jesus Bernal, a chiropractor, was convicted by a Pima County jury for allowing an unlicensed dentist to practice out of his chiropractic clinic.
Maria Hernandez, who is not a licensed dentist, would travel up from Mexico to provide unlicensed dental treatments to Tucson residents, working in a makeshift dental office in the Bernal Chiropractic Clinic.
A jury convicted Bernal of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Money Laundering, Practicing Dentistry without a License, Conspiracy, and Illegal Control of an Enterprise.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Phoenix Division, Tucson Office investigated this case along with assistance from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
During the two week trial, jurors heard from Bernal’s former employees. They testified Bernal would monitor when Hernandez came to the office to see patients to ensure that he got paid. Jurors heard evidence that when a search warrant was executed on the makeshift dental office, agents found unsanitary conditions and no means of sterilization.
Bernal faces a minimum sentence of 3 years in prison and up to 25 years for his involvement.
Bernal will be sentenced by Pima County Superior Court Judge Janet Bostwick on February 15, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.
Hernandez is currently facing criminal charges and is currently on the run believed to be hiding in Mexico.
Assistants Attorney General Jordan Emerson and Lindsay St. John prosecuted this case.