SARASOTA, FL – March 6, 2018 – 8:30 a.m.
Ronald Wheeler, 71, of Sarasota, has been arrested and charged with Scheme to Defraud $20,000 - $50,000 after Sarasota Police Detectives say he offered medical services and alternative medical treatment to a victim between May 2016 and January 2018.
Beginning in May 2016, the victim, who lives in Kansas, contacted Wheeler, who at the time was a licensed, practicing physician, specializing in urology and the treatment of prostate cancer in Sarasota. Wheeler told the victim over the phone, before having an in-person medical visit that he likely had cancer and needed to start oral chemotherapy immediately.
Following an in-person physical exam and ultrasound, Wheeler told the victim he had an aggressive prostate cancer. Wheeler did so without performing a tissue biopsy which is the minimal standard of care to make sure a determination according to the Florida Board of Medicine.
Wheeler sent the victim to a colleague in Connecticut in June 2016. Doctors in Connecticut told the victim that a tissue biopsy showed no signs of cancer. When the victim reported this to Wheeler, he stated they missed the cancer.
In August 2016, the victim wired $46,500 at Wheeler’s request to pay for a HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) procedure to cure his cancer. After a delay, the victim requested and received a refund. In November 2016, Wheeler told the victim his HIFU procedure was back on schedule. The victim again transferred $46,500.
The victim consulted with his personal physician who counseled him to find another provider. When the victim asked for his money back a second time, Wheeler agreed at first but then stopped communicating with the victim at all.
Wheeler did not tell the victim he was in danger of losing his medical license because of several cases of malpractice. On April 20, 2017, Wheeler’s license was revoked but never told the victim. The victim learned Wheeler was not licensed when he visited another physician in Sarasota in June 2017. The victim learned during the visit with the new physician that he had no cancer at all.
On February 27, 2018, a warrant was issued for Wheeler’s arrest. On Monday, March 5, 2018, Wheeler turned himself in at the Sarasota County Jail.
In July 2017, Wheeler was arrested and charged with Unlicensed Practice of a Health Care Professional. The investigation into Wheeler’s practice began due to an anonymous complaint to the Department of Health. The anonymous complaint was Wheeler was seeing patients despite having his medical license revoked. A search warrant was conducted in July 2017 and can be found on the Sarasota Police Department YouTube page at https://youtu.be/OdH_7nXKlrQ
There have been numerous public complaints to the Florida Department of Health regarding Wheeler. They can be found online at https://appsmqa.doh.state.fl.us/MQASearchServices/HealthCareProviders/LicenseVerification?LicInd=38368&ProCde=1501&org=%20