[PHOTO CREDIT: iStock / AndreyPopov]
[Original Publish Date: 10/30/19]
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TAVARES, Florida – A well-known, longtime Lake County doctor was arrested last week via warrant on multiple fraud charges from Osceola County.
Celestino Santi, 62, of Sanford, was picked up at his Expresscare office at 1300 East Burleigh Boulevard, Tavares by Tavares Police Oct. 24 on the charges and transported to the Lake County Jail, said Tavares Police Sgt. Sarah Coursey.
Multiple attempts to reach Osceola County Sheriff’s Office by phone and email over the course of two days were unsuccessful, and records from the Osceola County Clerk of Court remain unavailable at press time. An effort by Lake Legal News to obtain a comment from Santi or a member of his office staff resulted in an automatic outgoing message and phone ‘hold’ that produced no results.
Santi was charged with operating a clinic without a license, grand theft of $100,000 or more, false and fraudulent insurance claims and conducting a scheme to defraud $50,000 or more.
Santi was previously the subject of disciplinary action by the Florida Department of Health, accusing him of having sexual intercourse with a female patient at his Expresscare office in Tavares. In a final order, dated Sept. 19, 2013, Santi was placed on two years probation with conditions. He was not to “examine or treat any female patients without a female employee, who is a healthcare practitioner…. present in the room,” the order stated. He was also required to, “maintain a log which identifies all female patients” that he examined or treated and was directed to, “undergo an evaluation by the Professionals Resource Network, Inc. (PRN) or a Board-approved equivalent”, in addition to being fined $10,000 and assessed more than $2,000 in costs.
As to the Oct. 24 charges he was released from the Lake County Jail on $85,000 bond less than four hours after he was booked.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. In addition, she has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]