Saturday, September 01, 2012

Fugitive on the run–Elizabeth(Dr. Liz) Hinojosa and Monica Salazar Orozco

Mother, daughter accused of posing as dentists in Oklahoma City sought by authorities

Elizabeth Hinojosa and Monica Salazar Orozco, of Oklahoma City, worked in offices where alleged crimes took place after hours, investigators said

By Tim Willert | Published: August 31, 2012

A mother and daughter accused of posing as dentists pulled teeth, performed root canals, injected anesthesia and forged prescriptions, court papers show.


Elizabeth Hinojosa, 47, and Monica Salazar Orozco, 28, both of Oklahoma City, were charged Friday in Oklahoma County District Court with practicing dentistry without a license, a felony. Hinojosa also was charged with one count each of forgery, medical battery and embezzlement.

Warrants were issued for their arrest Thursday, authorities said.

Hinojosa was a dental assistant and her daughter was a receptionist where the alleged crimes took place between September 2010 and May 2011, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the charges.

Both worked for Dr. Salam Ramadan, who owns and operates Dental Spa locations at 1211 SW 44 and 3315 NW 63 in Oklahoma City.

Ramadan said Friday she didn't find out about the alleged crimes until she was contacted by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. The board started investigating after receiving a complaint.

“I was blindsided by it,” she said. “I had no idea it was going on.”

Ramadan said Orozco was caught stealing and never returned to work after police confronted her in early 2009. Hinojosa worked for Ramadan until December 2010.

“She just stopped coming in,” Ramadan said.

“None of these people were my patients,” she said. “Whatever they were doing, they were doing outside the scope of their work here.”

Hinojosa and Orozco scheduled appointments after the offices closed and forwarded office calls to their personal phones, a dentistry board investigator wrote in the affidavit.

They were hired, in part, for their bilingual skills and to provide translation services for their former employer, investigator James Seely wrote.

Seely could not be reached for comment Friday.

Prosecutors allege Hinojosa performed tooth extractions and a root canal and adjusted a patient's braces. She also is accused of forging Ramadan's signature on a prescription for a dental appliance.

Hinojosa, prosecutors said in court documents, injected a patient with anesthesia and performed an extraction which resulted in a “permanent physical injury or disfigurement.”

Prosecutors allege Orozco pulled the teeth of one patient and ground the teeth of another. She also is accused of performing root canals and placing and adjusting braces.

Dental equipment, including a dental chair, was discovered missing and believed to be taken from the Dental Spa locations along with narcotic pain medications, according to the affidavit.

Ramadan said the offices were vandalized and the security cameras destroyed during past trespassing incidents.

“Weird things were happening,” she said. “The alarm system never went off.”

Dental Spa

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DentalSpaThe Dental Spa was established in 2002 and has been serving Oklahoma City, Edmond, Moore and Yukon, OK in its dentistry needs ever since. We offer both general and cosmetic dentistry and believe that a healthy confident smile can help you achieve more in life.

SalamTRamadanThe Dental Spa performs cosmetic dentistry in Oklahoma City, OK and the surrounding areas. For braces, veneers, whitening, implants or gum therapy look no further than the Dental Spa. If you want to improve your smile even more check out some of our cosmetic treatments like botox, juvederm, radiesse, restylane and latisse.