An Atascadero man who pretended to be an audiologist pleaded no contest Monday to theft and insurance fraud.
Aaron A. Marquis, 46, will face up to a year in jail when he is sentenced Nov. 25. Meanwhile, his wife, Anja Sedar Marquis, 38, also entered guilty pleas to theft and insurance fraud. In her role as office manager, she billed insurance companies for audiology tests her husband conducted.
The pair was charged last spring after an investigation by the California Department of Consumer Affairs. That investigation revealed that Aaron Marquis had passed himself off as an audiologist even though he was not.
The couple worked out of the Advanced Hearing Aid Center, where Aaron Marquis administered hearing tests.
A former employee of the Advanced Hearing Aid Center told investigators that Anja Marquis instructed her to refer to her husband as “Dr. Marquis” until June 2010 — when the Consumer Affairs department launched its investigation.
Marquis initially told an investigator he had a doctorate, obtained through correspondence courses, in audiology. The highest recognized degree he’d received, however, was a high school diploma.
During the investigation, one office worker said clients occasionally threatened to report Marquis to state agencies during phone complaints.
As a condition of her plea, Anja Marquis will receive credit for time served and five years of probation.