Investigators are looking for patients to come forward if they have received unsafe acupuncture treatments from a man who is alleged to have been practicing without a license in a Bayview garage last year.
Qing Hu Liang, 73, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on misdemeanor counts of practicing acupuncture without a license and unlawful display of a canceled license, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.
A former patient of Liang’s reportedly complained to the Department of Consumer Affairs about Liang. That led to an undercover sting operation June 27 in which police investigators posed as clients, according to prosecutors.
That day, the investigators went to Liang’s home in the 1100 block of Gilman Avenue. One of the investigators was reportedly asked to fill out an intake form. He was then led to a makeshift examination room in his garage, prosecutors said.
“Liang then examined the investigator and prepared to do the acupuncture,” prosecutors said, adding that investigators spotted an expired acupuncture license on display in the garage.
Liang faces up to a year in the County Jail if convicted of the charges. He is currently out of custody after posting $6,000 bail, Bastian said.
Liang and the Gilman Avenue address remain listed on several websites as offering acupuncture services. Attempts to contact Liang were unsuccessful.
Authorities are encouraging Liang’s current and former patients to contact investigator Helen Tennyson from the Department of Consumer Affairs at (510) 888-7072.
“This case shows why consumer complaints are so important,” Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation chief Michael Gomez said. “In this case it was a consumer complaint that led us to discover Liang’s illegal activity.”
District Attorney George Gascón said that prosecuting state licensing fraud “ensures that the citizens of San Francisco receive safe, health-related treatments from qualified practitioners adhering to accepted standards.”