YOU READ IT FIRST ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: Radio show host Alan “Dr. Al” Lupinacci remained held on $100,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail overnight on charges of practicing medicine and conducting surgery without the license he lost after being convicted of sexually assaulting female patients.
Alan “Dr. Al” Lupinacci (MUGSHOT: Bergen Prosecutor)
Lupinacci, 65, whose weekly live radio show “Learn to be Healthy,” has been airing on WMCA New York 570 AM, lost his license in 1995 after pleading guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual contact with female patients.
State authorities even obtained a restraining order from a judge once Lupinacci had served a year in prison.
Yet he started up again in 2003 and continued to “unlawfully engage in the practice of medicine and surgery” under the pseudonym Dr. Alan Woods, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this afternoon.
The court order specifically prohibited “counseling patients/clients, in a nutritional counseling business, health shop, health care service or similar establishment and from using the title or description ‘doctor,’ ‘M.D.,’ ‘N.D.,’Naturopathic Physician,’ ‘Nutritional Doctor’ or any other title denoting licensure in any dealings with clients or the public in connection with any nutritional counseling business, health shop, health care service or similar establishment….,” Molinelli noted.
It also barred him from “displaying any signs, diplomas, cards or other documents containing the title ‘M.D.,’ ‘N.D.,’ and/or ‘doctor’ on the premises of a nutritional counseling business, health shop, health care service or similar establishment.”
For the past two years, Lupinacci worked at The Institute for Natural Health and Wellness at 541 Cedar Hill Avenue in Wyckoff, where he offered nutritional counseling, Molinelli said.
“People come and visit us from all over the country to take charge of their health by learning how to make intelligent, healthy choices focused on the cause and prevention of illness, rather than the diagnosis and treatment,” Lupinacci (aka “Dr. Alan Woods”) boasts on his web site.
“Holding doctoral degrees in medicine and nutritional biochemistry, Dr. Al will approach your health concerns by asking pertinent questions regarding your health and lifestyle, evaluate your responses and make suggestions that may stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities,” the site says.
Lupinacci charged $375 for an an initial three-hour meeting, with follows up at $125 an hour, the prosecutor said. On top of that, he sold clients various vitamins and nutritional supplements through his web site, Molinelli said.
He collected nearly $81,000 in that span, the prosecutor said, shortlyt after Lupinacci’s arrest at his Wyckoff office.
Lupinacci, a family practitioner who treated thousands from his West Paterson practice, made headlines in North Jersey when he was sent to prison for a year for molesting patients.
Authorities 20 years ago said Lupinacci talked dozens of women into gynecological exams not for their health but for his own gratification. In one case, they said, a woman came to him for a sore throat. In another, they said, he conducted digital exams on a woman who brought her daughter in for a check-up.
A grand jury originally indicted Lupinacci in connection with 37 alleged victims, but prosecutors dropped several complaints on those in which the statute of limitations had expired and dismissed others as part of a plea bargain.
He went to prison in 1994 after admitting to illegal sexual contact with 10 patients and had his medical license revoked a year later.
Lupinacci requested reinstatement, using depositions from therapists, after spending several years in therapy after he release. He told state authorities the situation had rendered him “virtually unemployable.”
“I am a capable and talented physician,” he wrote in his request, “and, with the proper and continued treatment, I am confident that I can render competent and compassionate medical services to the public.”
Passaic prosecutors vehemently opposed the move, and the state Board of Medical Examiners eventually rejected the bid.
Lupinacci, who is married and lives in Roseland, is charged with theft, misconduct by a corporate official, financial facilitation of criminal activity, impersonation and practicing medicine and surgery without a license.
The investigation was conducted by members of Molinelli’s White Collar Crimes Squad, in conjunction with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Affairs, Enforcement Bureau, the prosecutor said.
The 50-minute “Learn to be Healthy” program aired at 2 p.m. every Saturday the past five years until Christmas Eve 2011. It was also streamed live and archived online, and last year was offered through an iPhone app.