An Atascadero man has been charged with felony fraud for allegedly pretending to be an audiologist.
Aaron A. Marquis, 46, has pleaded not guilty to several charges of insurance fraud and grand theft. According to an investigation by the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs, Marquis advertised himself as an audiologist with a Ph.D. His wife, Anja Marquis, who worked as his office manager, billed insurance companies for audiology tests he conducted, the department added.
Anja Marquis, 39, also facing fraud charges, has pleaded not guilty as well.
During their investigation, consumer affairs investigators talked to members of the staff at Marquis’ San Luis Obispo business, Advanced Hearing Aid Center, along with patients. Both confirmed that Marquis had administered hearing tests and represented himself as an audiologist.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Patients with hearing issues visit a physician for an initial evaluation. That physician then refers them to a medical specialist — either an audiologist or an ear, nose and throat specialist. Those professionals can then determine if a hearing aid is needed.
When investigators asked Marquis if he had an audiology education, he allegedly told them he obtained his degrees by correspondence courses from Stamford Hill University in England.
Marquis, who called himself “Dr.,” was not an audiologist and was not permitted to produce audiology reports, the investigation concluded.
Marquis’s attorney, Trevor Creel, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Marquis and his wife are set to appear for a pre-trial hearing on April 29.