– Two unlicensed individuals who allegedly
were performing acupuncture on patients
were arrested last Friday and their facility
shut down, following a joint investigation
conducted by the State Division of Consumer
Affairs and the Old Bridge Police Department,
with assistance provided by the Perth Amboy
Paulino, 47, and Merly Quijije, 26, both
residents of South River, were charged with
unlicensed practice of acupuncture, a third-degree
crime. Both were held at Middlesex County
Jail following their arrests and subsequently
released after each posted $50,000 bail,
with no 10% option.
and Quijije were arrested at The Integrative
Naturopath Research Training and Assistance
Center on White Oak Lane in Old Bridge.
This case is believed to be the first prosecuted
under the 2009 state law which prohibits
the practicing of acupuncture without a
requires meeting educational and training
standards, both of which are designed to
protect the public. These two defendants
allegedly deceived patients by misrepresenting
themselves to be licensed acupuncturists,
which they aren’t,” Attorney
General Paula T. Dow said.
with Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement
Bureau have recently conducted joint investigations
with local police departments of unlicensed
individuals offering dental and medical
procedures, and of licensees who allegedly
committed crimes including the sale of prescriptions
for painkillers without medical justification.
want to commend the Old Bridge and Perth
Amboy police departments for working with
us to safeguard the public. Unlicensed people
piercing someone’s body with acupuncture
needles is an obvious risk, one that we
will not tolerate. We’re ready to
work cooperatively with all enforcement
agencies when the public’s health,
safety and welfare are threatened,”
said Thomas R. Calcagni, Acting Director
of the State Division of Consumer Affairs.
was a time and resource-intensive investigation.
The detectives and investigators have done
superior work to uncover an operation lurking
in the shadows of our community,”
said Detective Captain Robert V. Weiss Jr.
of the Old Bridge Police Department.
Detective Glenn Smalley of the Old Bridge
Police Department is the lead investigator
of this case. Anyone with information related
to the defendants or The Integrative Naturopath
Research Training and Assistance Center
can contact Detective Smalley at 732-721-5600
public can file complaints with the Division
of Consumer Affairs through its website,
or by calling 1-800-242-5846
(toll-free in N.J.) or 973-504-6200.