A 73-year-old San Francisco man was arrested on a warrant this week after prosecutors discovered that he was giving eye examinations and doling out prescriptions out of San Jose without a required license.
Valery Dobrushin was arrested Wednesday, and subsequently charged with five felonies involving insurance fraud and two misdemeanors involving prescribing eyeglasses and giving eye exams without a license. Prosecutors say he operated out of small eye care store in San Jose. His alleged actions caused an estimated loss exceeding $11,300 to five health insurance carriers.
If convicted of all counts, Dobrushin, who has since bailed out of custody, faces a maximum of 11 years in county jail and would be ordered to pay full restitution.
“Licensed optometrists and ophthalmologists are the only people qualified to examine your eyes and make prescriptions,’’ said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Kwok. “The defendant seems to have believed that he was somehow exempt from the law and risked the eyesight of hundreds of trusting patients.’’
Opticians are limited to analyzing and to interpreting eye prescriptions, and determining what type of lenses best meet a person’s needs. Dobrushin, who formerly owned and operated Val’s Optical in San Jose, is an optician.
Between January 2009 and January 2012, investigators determined that Dobrushin gave more than 300 patients eye exams, all illegal under the law. Prosecutors say he billed insurance companies for some of the exams. Last year, prosecutors say he provided an undercover investigator, who was near-sighted, with eyeglasses based upon the prescription obtained during an illegal eye exam.
This arrest comes after a joint investigation by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Consumer Affairs