Phony Doctor Sold Dirt And Expired Drugs To Cancer Patient, Police Say
A man is accused of posing as a doctor and charging a Thousand Oaks cancer patient $2,000 for phony treatment and bags of dirt and expired drugs. Vincent Gammill, 69, was arrested on July 9 at his office in Richmond in Northern California on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license, dependent adult abuse and furnishing dangerous drug without a license, KTLA reports.
Gammill's whacky 'treatment' plans came to light in June when a 49-year-old Thousand Oaks woman went to Thousand Oaks East County Sheriff's Station and told authorities that Gammill had swindled her. The woman, who was suffering from late-stage cancer, told police that she had first discovered Gammill's website for his practice, The Natural Oncology Institute, Inc., 2009. She decided to seek a more traditional treatment path first and revisit Gammill's site again if it did not work. On Gammill's website, his practice touts it self as "a premier educational resource and client advocacy organization focused on helping people with cancer." The site also claims that Gammill was once a pharmaceutical designer and consultant who preferred using natural methods when possible. The site also states that Gammill was able to beat his own cancer by using a combination of conventional and alternative methods that he carefully selected for himself.
The woman said she made an appointment to see Gammill in June at his Richmond office. Gammill charged her $2,000 for 16 hours of consultations and numerous plastic baggies filled with powders, vials of liquids, expired commercial medicines, medicine labeled in Russian, and empty pill capsules. One bag just contained dirt. Gammill provided instructions as to how to mix up the 'medicine' in a frying pan, then instructed her to put the mixture into one of the empty capsules and swallow it. When the woman told Gammill that she felt a burning sensation in her stomach, Gammill said it was a good thing and meant that the ingredients were still active, according to a release from the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.
The Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office investigated Gammill for a month before his arrest. When investigators searched Gammill's home in the 2600 block of Tamalpais Avenue in El Cerrito in Northern California, they found 25,000 prescription pills, which included Ambien, steroids, Morphine and drugs from Mexico and Russia. Police say Gammill told them he only had a high school education, but later said he remembered that he had received a science degree in the '90s.
Investigators believe others may have also been scammed by Gammill. Anyone with information should contact the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit at 805-383-8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Victims in NorCal can contact the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office Detective Bureau at 925-313-2600.