Onelio Hipolit-Gonzalez has no medical license, but he allegedly diagnosed patients with a variety of conditions and administered phony cures

By Rachel DeSantis
February 14, 2019 01:11 PM
Credit: Hernando County Sheriff's Office

A Florida man accused of posing as a doctor and claiming he could cure diabetes by injecting patients with their own blood has been arrested, police said.

Onelio Hipolit-Gonzalez, 73, was booked Feb. 7 into the Hernando County Detention Center and charged with unlicensed practice of a health care profession and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The man was flagged by the Florida Department of Health after an investigator noticed he was allegedly offering his services as a doctor on an advertising website for the Hispanic community, claiming he could cure patients of more than a dozen conditions, ranging from Parkinson’s disease and diabetes to multiple sclerosis and leukemia.

To catch him in the act, authorities sent an undercover detective as a patient to meet with Hipolit-Gonzalez for an appointment on Feb. 7.

The two met at suspect’s friend’s house, which Hipolit-Gonzalez allegedly claimed he typically borrowed to meet with patients, and the patient paid him his requested $160, police said.

Hipolit-Gonzalez then allegedly took the patient’s blood pressure and pulse, placed a band around his head and had him hold a metal rod connected to a machine that soon started beeping, police said.

“Hipolit-Gonzalez told the patient that the device was testing his heart, brain, intestinal system, bones, nerves and ‘everything else,’” the release states.

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The suspect then allegedly told the patient his cholesterol was rising and that his brain was not getting enough oxygen. He also made notes on the patient’s liver fat and gallbladder, and eventually diagnosed him with diabetes and osteoporosis, according to the release.

Police allege he then told the patient he could cure the diabetes for $2,000 — by injecting the patient with the patient’s own blood, which Hipolit-Gonzalez later told detectives would “combat” blood cells and increase the immune system.

He was subsequently placed into custody.

In an interview with police, he allegedly claimed he didn’t think he needed a license to practice medicine, and said he was a lab technician in Cuba.

He also allegedly said he believed his machine was “very accurate,” and said he’d purchased it online.

Hipolit-Gonzalez was booked that same day, and released on bond one day later, online records show.

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Denise Moloney tells PEOPLE authorities believe he may have seen additional patients in Tampa, which is located in nearby Hillsborough County.