SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Fireworks outside a Sacramento courtroom after a TV doctor pleads guilty of defrauding his patients.
James Martin, a chiropractor who also claimed to be a doctor of pastoral medicine, was charged with 45-felony counts that had him facing seven years in prison.
Instead, Martin cut a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to seven of the 45 felonies, which will end his career as a chiropractor.
He admitted to practicing medicine without a license and of grand theft for taking money from his patients.
Martin appeared, regularly in a paid segment on KXTV’s morning show Sac and Co, wearing scrubs and a white coat. He claimed he could help people with thyroid issues, diabetes, hair loss and weight loss.
In one of the commercial segments, Martin said to the infomercial host, “I’ve had many families and husbands come in to say I just wanted to say thanks for giving me my wife or husband back.”
It was on one of those shows that former patient Louisa Boudreau saw him on TV.
“I was thinking, ‘Hallelujah, there’s somebody who can finally help people with this,'” she said.
She says he claimed he could reverse her autoimmune condition, and get her off her medicine.
Boudreau says after 7-thousand dollars later she claimed the supplements he gave her caused her heart to speed up.
She sat in court with several other patients and a former employee as Martin plead guilty to seven of the felonies and agreed to give up his chiropractor license.
Boudreau was relieved, “Just the fact he said guilty on all counts was validation.”
Another former patient, Delaine Couchman who was also in court was thrilled with the outcome, “I’m glad he’s out of business.”
Anna Olide also a former patient was there to see Martin face his fate, “I hope the year is a harsh year, and I hope that it’s not reduced.”
We caught up with Martin outside the courtroom; he told us that he only plead guilty because he ran out of money for his legal fight.
“I don’t feel that I’m guilty of anything other than being a good marketer, an awesome doctor for the patients that followed directions,” said Martin.
Olide overheard Martin’s comments to us that did not sit well with her, “Have a great life in jail; you deserve it,” she said to Martin as she walked past him.
Stephanie Butler, a former employee, also shouted in Martin’s direction, “We know what you are you are a fraud. A facade, shame on you.”
Martin, responding back to Butler, “I don’t think so.”
Martin’s formal sentencing is at the end of May, at that time the court will decide the amount he will have to pay restitution to his victims.
Some of Martin’s former patients have filed a civil suit and won, but he has since filed for bankruptcy.
After serving time in jail, Martin says he plans to continue helping people claiming it is his mission in life.