Mount Vernon, Wash., couple sentenced in medical fraud case
Associated Press - August 23, 2008 12:55 AM ET
SEATTLE (AP) - A Mount Vernon couple who used unlicensed devices, including one called a "vibe machine," to treat patients with serious illnesses have been sentenced in federal court in Seattle.
Seventy-9-year-old Donald Brandt and his wife, 65-year-old Sharon Brandt, earlier pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge involving transportation of the unproven "vibe" machine through interstate commerce.
Brandt was sentenced today to 30 days in prison and four months home detention while his wife was sentenced to five months home detention. They were ordered to pay a collective fine of $10,000.
Court documents say Donald Brandt posed as a medical doctor and used the "vibe" machine and other devices to treat diseases with various energy waves the machines supposedly produced. His wife ran the operation.
At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Richard Jones called Brandt, in the judge's words, "a charlatan and fraud, preying on vulnerable victims." Jones said Sharon Brandt was an equal partner with her husband.
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