Disbarred Md. lawyer accused in N.J. of practicing medicine

February 13, 1992|By Michael Ollove | Michael Ollove,Staff Writer Staff writer Jay Apperson contributed to this article.

A Randallstown lawyer disbarred for stealing more than $54,000 from a client in 1989 now faces a charge in New Jersey of practicing medicine without a license at a medical clinic he and his wife opened last month.

If convicted, Fred Kolodner, 66, could be sentenced to five years in prison and a fine of $7,500, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz said. Mr. Kolodner is free pending trial.

The charge stems from the opening last month of the Kolodner Medical Center on North Main Street in tiny Pleasantville, N.J., near Atlantic City.

Mr. Kolodner and his wife, Deborah, approached Pleasantville officials last year about the idea of starting a medical clinic near a housing complex for the elderly.

The officials welcomed the idea, and gave the Kolodners two interest-free loans worth $20,000 to help with renovations.

Pleasantville Mayor George Dix and City Administrator Andrew Salerno said Mrs. Kolodner claimed experience in running four medical clinics in Baltimore.

They also said that credit reports from Baltimore and a check with the Baltimore Police Department revealed no problems.

Whether Mrs. Kolodner operated any medical clinics in the Baltimore area remains unclear.

The name of her firm, she told Pleasantville officials, was D. K. Medical Services. In the Baltimore telephone book, D. K. Medical Services is listed with the same address as the couple's Randallstown rancher, a house that neighbors say has been empty and for sale for more than a year.

Pleasantville officials also were unaware that Mr. Kolodner had been disbarred and convicted of theft.

The officials said they were happy to have a new business venture in town during a recession, impressed with the expensive medical equipment they watched being installed and optimistic when the clinic opened on Jan. 16.

Their concerns, they said, began later that month when they learned that the clinic, seemingly awash in money, would not pay off on a $8,000 note due the city Feb. 1.

Mayor Dix said his suspicions led to some further checking on the clinic. The mayor said he discovered that the clinic's two "doctors" -- the medical director and the associate director -- were not licensed to practice medicine in New Jersey. The mayor said he passed that information on to the prosecutor's office, which began its own investigation.

Last Friday, after a search of the clinic, Mr. Kolodner was arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license. Mr. Blitz, the prosecutor, refused to disclose what Mr. Kolodner is alleged to have done.

Also charged were the medical director and the associate director. Mrs. Kolodner has not been arrested. The clinic had remained open until yesterday morning when it was closed by the New Jersey Health Department, Mayor Dix said.

Conviction in New Jersey could expose Mr. Kolodner to additional prison time in Maryland, where his four-year prison term for bilking a client was suspended contingent on his good behavior during 18 months of probation.

In that case, Mr. Kolodner pleaded guilty to the theft of insurance money due an elderly woman who had hired him after her East Baltimore house burned down.

Mr. Kolodner was disbarred in Maryland in January 1991.

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