A 75-year-old man was sentenced to eight years in prison for defrauding cancer patients in a Ponzi scheme.

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A 75-year-old man was sentenced to eight years in prison for defrauding cancer patients in a Ponzi scheme.

A 75-year-old self-described naturopathic doctor was sentenced to eight years in prison for running a Ponzi scam that preyed on cancer patients who were financially fragile.

According to an announcement from the Department of Justice [DOJ], U.S. District Judge William L. Campbell Jr. handed down the sentence on Friday, coupled with an order for Howard L. Young to pay $693,128.66 in restitution. After defrauding over 80 people out of nearly $700,000, Young pleaded guilty to bank fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft in December.

According to the DOJ, Young “held himself out as a Doctor of Naturopathy but did not have a Medical Doctorate or a medical license.” In 2015, he started Integrative Medical Services in Nashville, Tennessee, which he described as a “purportedly holistic wellness enterprise.”

Young began courting his victims to participate in a non-existent “study” into treating “cancer patients and other patients with chronic medical conditions” two years later, while falsely stating he and his company had been awarded a $2 million grant from Vanderbilt University.

Despite the fact that Young’s “holistic” methods for treating cancer, such as exercise, nutritional supplements, and acupuncture, have been consistently demonstrated to be useless, the bogus doctor informed his victims that he had healed himself of cancer using similar methods.

Young stated that Vanderbilt University, which was unaware of the scheme, sought $10,000 upfront payments from those who wanted to take part in the ostensibly scientific study. Those who couldn’t afford the whole payment were encouraged to acquire medical credit lines through CareCredit and Health Credit Services.

Young assured victims that he would put their fees in escrow and pay them back in a year. Young did not refund their money or offer the nutritional supplements, acupuncture sessions, massages, gym memberships, or personal coaching sessions that he had promised.

To keep the fraudulent operation running, Young withdrew money for his own personal use and made minimal payments on the lines of credit his victims had taken up. He then altered the medical credit accounts’ mailing addresses to a post office box he controlled, thus disguising the amounts.

Young’s Integrative Medical Services, on the other hand, was generating almost no money. A big one. This is a condensed version of the information.

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