Fri Mar 24, 4:43 AM ET


An unlicensed doctor pleaded guilty to charges he bilked more than 1,400 immigrants by performing fake medical exams and injecting them with a saline solution he claimed was a vaccine.

Under the agreement, Stephen Brian Turner, 51, pleaded guilty Thursday to grand theft, illegally practicing medicine and putting patients in danger during the blood drawing process. He will likely serve seven years and eight months in prison, with eligibility for parole after four years.

Turner also must repay $138,000 in fees he charged to immigrant patients who needed physicals and vaccinations to become citizens and permanent residents. He is scheduled to appear in court April 25 for formal sentencing.

Turner had faced a maximum 30-year sentence if convicted at trial.

Prosecutors said Turner surrendered his California medical license in 1998, but continued seeing patients until late last year. Medical board officials learned of his activities in 2005 and Turner was arrested at his Hayward home last month.

Officials have encouraged former patients to have medical exams performed again by another doctor.


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