Spitzer Announces Pair Convicted For Unauthorized Practice Of Medicine

Attorney General Spitzer announced today that an anesthesiologist who was practicing with a suspended license, and the doctor who knowingly employed her and allowed her to anesthetize patients, have been convicted on four counts each of the Unauthorized Practice of Medicine.

A Queens Supreme Court jury returned the verdicts against Ana Marie Santi, 61, of Forest Hills, and Dr. Peter Corines, 51, of Manhattan late yesterday.

Santi’s license had been suspended in March of 1998 following the death of a liposuction patient due to anesthesia complications. Dr. Corines knew of the suspension, but employed Santi nonetheless.

Both Santi and Corines had a long history of administrative actions having been taken against them. Santi’s license was revoked in November of last year by the State Health Department. Corines’ license was revoked in 1998, the revocation was upheld by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court last November.

"Hopefully, with these convictions, we will help ensure that two doctors with long and troubled histories will never practice medicine again," said Spitzer.

"Both Santi and Corines clearly knew that they were breaking the law by their actions, yet continued to put their patients at risk. We will ask for jail time for both of them."

The Deputy Commissioner of the State Education Department’s Office of the Professions, Johanna Duncan-Poitier said, "These criminal convictions are critically important to the safety of New Yorkers.

"It should send a clear message that if individuals who have had their license revoked attempt to ignore the law and place the public in danger, we will pursue those intolerable actions to the fullest extent of the law. Public protection is our number one job and we will not be compromised by unscrupulous people who put innocent people in harm’s way."

Corines owned Surgical Consultants P.C., an outpatient clinic at 86-35 Queens Boulevard in Queens. On at least four occasions following Santi’s suspension, Corines employed her as an anesthesiologist in 1998 for procedures involving a colonoscopy, hemorrhoid surgery and cosmetic surgery.

Santi had been placed on probation by the State Health Department in 1994 because of substance abuse problems. Her license was then suspended in 1998 for violating the terms of that probation.

During the 1980's, Corines’ privileges to perform surgery were suspended by three different hospitals. His license to practice was revoked in October of 1998 on charges that included negligence, incompetence and fraudulent practice. The court stayed the revocation while Corines is pursuing an appeal.

Both defendants face up to four years in prison when sentenced by Judge Laura Blackburne on July 26. Santi was released on $1,000 bail, Corines on his own recognisance.

Spitzer thanked the State Health and Education Departments for their assistance in this case.

Assistant A.G. Ronda Lustman handled the case under the supervision of Criminal Bureau Chief Janet Cohn.

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