Chiropractor Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Conspiring with Fake Dentist

TUCSON - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Dr. Jesus Bernal, a chiropractor, was sentenced to 3 years in prison for allowing an unlicensed dentist to practice out of his chiropractic clinic in Southern Arizona. The Federal Bureau of Investigation Phoenix Division, Tucson Office investigated this case along with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

"The FBI and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office continue to work jointly to protect the community from white-collar crime," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael DeLeon. "This includes fraud and money laundering. The motivation behind these types of crimes is purely financial. In this case, patients were put at risk. The safety and welfare of Arizona citizens and communities remains the highest priority for both the FBI and Arizona Attorney General’s Office."

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. When a search warrant was executed on the makeshift dental office, FBI agents found unsanitary conditions and no means of sterilization.

In January 2018, a jury convicted Bernal of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Money Laundering, Practicing Dentistry without a License, Conspiracy, and Illegal Control of an Enterprise.

Hernandez is currently facing criminal charges and is currently on the run and believed to be hiding in Mexico.

Assistant Attorneys General Jordan Emerson and Lindsay St. John prosecuted this case.