NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


April 12, 2002 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

ACUPUNCTURIST SENTENCED FOR PRACTICING
WITHOUT A MARYLAND LICENSE

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Yongli Ni, formerly practicing at the Traditional Chinese Medical Center located at Rotunda Suite 202, 711 West 40th Street, in Baltimore, was sentenced by Judge H. Gary Bass in the District Court for Baltimore City on two counts of practicing acupuncture in Maryland without a Maryland license. The sentence followed the defendant’s nolo contendere pleas to the charges, over the State’s objection to the type of plea.

Yongli Ni, age 50, a former Baltimore City resident who recently moved to Howard County, was sentenced on each count of practicing acupuncture without a license to six months incarceration, all suspended; two years supervised probation to the Division of Parole and Probation, with the special conditions that she complete 100 hours of community service as directed by her probation agent and pay a fine of $1,000.

According to the Statement of Facts, the Maryland Board of Acupuncture denied a license to Yongli Ni in 1996, after the Board was unable to verify the validity of Ms. Ni’s educational records of training from the Republic of China. Ms. Ni was advised of the alternative examination method of verifying the skills necessary to obtain a license. Based upon a complaint that she was practicing in Baltimore City without a license in August 2000, the Board of Acupuncture began an investigation. On August 12, 2000, and September 2, 2000, Yongli Ni performed acupuncture upon John Robert Thomas, the Board’s investigator, who posed as a new patient seeking acupuncture. According to the facts reported to the Court, Ni had been previously warned in January 1998 by the Office of the Attorney General, Criminal Investigations Division that she could not practice acupuncture in Maryland without a license. Further, the facts indicated that Ms. Ni continued to practice acupuncture in Maryland after she was informed of the Board investigator’s identity and the existence of a criminal investigation. Ms. Ni is licensed to practice in Washington, D.C.

"Ms. Ni was given every opportunity to comply with the law," Attorney General Curran said. "Because she chose to continue practicing acupuncture without a license, she broke the law and placed her clients at risk."

The case was prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Attorney General’s Office, with assistance by the State of Maryland Board of Acupuncture.

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