Gunning for the sheriff

Dentist Robert Mansueto claims abuse of prosecutorial discretion

Mansueto and one of his other misleading U-T ads
  • Mansueto and one of his other misleading U-T ads

Robert Frank Mansueto, a Coronado Cays dentist who has been in trouble for his actions in dentistry, filed suit in federal court February 25 against county sheriff William Gore, claiming that Mansueto was wrongly charged with practicing dentistry in Mexico without a California license. Mansueto is out on bail from the Vista Correctional Facility, according to the suit.

In charging Mansueto, the state noted that he had taken patients from the U.S. to Mexico for treatment. Mansueto charges this is “an abuse of prosecutorial discretion."

As revealed in the Reader two years ago, Mansueto in 1995 was placed on probation and suspended from practice for 60 days by the Board of Dental Examiners for altering patient records. Four years later, the board disciplined him again and expressed “profound concern” about his “dishonesty.” In 2005, the Dental Board of California (successor to the Board of Dental Examiners) revoked his license for negligently handling three patients.

In 2016, the state charged him with practicing dentistry without a license, treating the ill without a certificate, and practicing dentristry under a false name. He pleaded not guilty. He had been arrested at the border.

The board has criticized his misleading dental ads in the Union-Tribune. Mansueto, while practicing dental implant surgery in Mexico, also sells annuities. The Reader criticized him for placing U-T ads that made annuities appear to be bank instruments by using words such as “deposit” and “new savings accounts.”

Since 2010, Mansueto has held a valid license to practice dentistry in Mexico, says his suit. Thousands of Mexican dentists practice in Mexico without a California license, says Mansueto.

Mansueto could be imprisoned for more than four years if he loses the criminal case, says his suit.

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Don, You don't mention his dental education and experience. They could be perfectly legit, or maybe not. He did manage to get licensed in California before he blew it. Guys like this are those who take advantage of the proximity to the border, and lax regulation in corrupt Baja. While the story isn't totally clear to me, it appears as if he was soliciting dental work in the US, then having the customers decamp to TJ, where he practiced on them. So, if he did that, the charge seems to be that he was required to be licensed on both sides of the border.

But he didn't leave it at that; he started selling misleading financial scams in the US. He's a real credit to his heritage and his cross-border shuttling. Both California and Baja should shut him down. Will Baja do the same? LOL

Visduh: Yes, maybe I wasn't clear. He solicited business in the U.S., where he has no license, and took the people to his clinic in Mexico, where he has a license. That is one reason the U.S. charged him with not having a California license when working on a patient in Baja.

He got in trouble with the dental board for misleading dental advertising. He has been selling annuities for some time. I wrote a column in the Reader because his annuities advertising was completely misleading. He advertised a 6.5 percent return, and threw in words like "deposit" and "new savings accounts" that clearly implied he was advertising a bank-related product. But he was offering an interest rate that was more than six times what one would get at a bank at that time. Actually, he was peddling annuities, which pay the salesman huge commissions. Best, Don Bauder

Why did the U-T accept those misleading financial ads? Does their ad dept. have no ethical standards, as long as the payment was in US dollars?

dwbat: I can relate my own experiences while I was there 30 years. Helen Copley always used to say she didn't want to accept ads from crooks, and she meant it. But her ad department wasn't listening. When I noticed the paper was taking wholly misleading ads from crooks I had written about, I would go the ad department and complain. I would get doubletalk and the ads would continue. I suspect the difference today is that there is. no one at the top who claims he or she doesn't want ads from crooks. Best, Don Bauder

sounds like Helen was all talk and no action when it effected the bottom line.

Do you think the new U-T owner will change that hands-off policy?

when it comes to the bottom line ( $$) we all know what happens.

dwbat: I don't know the LA Times's policy on misleading ads. Back in Helen Copley's day, the advertising department, backed sometimes by company lawyers, would cite the First Amendment as a reason to accept ads that were questionable. Best, Don Bauder

dwbat: Extremely doubtful. Ad linage is very low in the U-T. Best, Don Bauder

Murphyjunk: I am not sure that is the explanation. I think it's more like this: she said she didn't want to take ads from crooks. The ad department knew she would not check to see if her dictum was being ignored.Best,Don Bauder

the person in charge should always be responsible

Murphyjunk: True. But do you think the persons in charge during the Wells Fargo swindles will be prosecuted by the government? CEO bankers got off free in the 2007-2009 bank scams. Best, Don Bauder

There could be another explanation for taking ads like those. The ad clerk and manager get jaded, looking at so many ads that if it is grammatically correct, and all the words are spelled correctly, they are satisfied. Looking at the claims of ads must be a struggle, because there is hyperbole in almost all ads, to a greater or lesser degree. Then you have the matter of lack of understanding of the product or service featured, and bogus claims can slip through.

But some are so obviously phony that anyone with any sense should see it. In those cases it was a matter of "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil", and take the money.

Visduh: No clerk -- or space salesperson for that matter -- was going to see that an advertised 6.5 percent in a period of sub-1 percent bank returns, with abounding banking verbiage, was a scam. Best, Don Bauder

Thomas: Yes, there is lots of smoke .Mansueto has been in trouble with dental regulators for years and years. Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy: Dental regulators have pointed out his dishonesty. It's unusual for regulators to call someone a liar. Best, Don Bauder

Don, where do you find all these bad guys?!

Amazing all the scams going on....

Any more exposes on false and misleading sales of annuties to parties not suited to be buyers of those products.... Read and heard that it is a rampant practice "out of control" in the insurance industry.

SportsFan0000: In Mansueto's case, you can find his misbehavior in the records of dental regulators. In both his dental and annuities businesses, his ads are VERY misleading. Best, Don Bauder

Mary Ann Wilson: His "inexpensive" dental implants have caused some severe problems with patients. That's all in the Dental Board of California records. Best, Don Bauder

Thomas Weller: Lots of smoke here. Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy: You are right again. Best, Don Bauder

Mary Ann Wilson: Regulators share your assessment. Best, Don Bauder

Chonny Hokama: You may be right. Best, Don Bauder

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