An Open Letter to My Patients, Colleagues, and Friends
For over 25 years in private practice I have had the profound privilege to create and lead an incredible team of hard-working and dedicated professionals singularly focused on delivering the best comprehensive care in the aesthetic medical arena. The highlight of my journey has been the opportunity to impact positively the lives of my wonderful patients and those around me, while simultaneously pursuing my passion: the synthesis of medical science and artistry. In short, I consider myself the beneficiary of extraordinary good fortune. As many of you were aware, this all changed when I became the unwitting victim of a former senior employee and likely co-conspirators who coordinated a series of malicious attacks to destroy my reputation and practice. These were strategically designed to burden me with a barrage of vicious public accusations and frivolous lawsuits punctuated with betrayal, death threats and even an attempt to steal my dog! Finally I am able to reveal the truth behind this having shouldered the big responsibility to remain focused, quiet and collected ever since the DEA began their criminal investigation of this same employee. Let me explain. Approximately 3 years ago, at a time when my practice and professional life were flourishing, I discovered that an employee was embezzling large-scale funds from my practice. More shockingly, this same person was also illegally trafficking in prescription narcotics -- while working as the manager of my trusted team. Discovering this information left me angry, frustrated and with a deep sense of betrayal. This employee was an individual whose professional development I had supported and encouraged for almost 14 years and in whom I had placed considerable trust. I terminated the employee and immediately notified all relevant authorities of their criminal activity; I also sued this criminal for the untold damages to my practice. Meanwhile, in order to dissuade me from pursuing this further, it became clear to me the erstwhile employee’s legal team attempted to intimidate me by extortion and threats to ruin my reputation and practice. Instead of cowardly retreating, I stood by my oath of ethics knowing it was the right and just course of action to prevent further harm to others. When I refused to drop my lawsuit it was obvious to me that set a plan in motion to embarrass my practice with salacious accusations in order to, most likely, ultimately shut me down By teaming up with Chris Rudd, an attorney who filed a preposterous lawsuit against me while my ex employee was still at my practice, I realized a devious strategy was being enacted. In what I believe was a coordinated attack, my past employee provided the defamatory testimony Rudd needed in order to file his additional lawsuit claiming fraud and battery. They alleged prescription and illegal drug abuse, forgery and the viewing of offensive videos during surgery, which was all the more absurd because they also stated, as fact, I was blind! As a lawyer he had easy access to medical records which documented my excellent vision; nevertheless, Mr. Rudd quickly held a live TV press conference to declare my incapacity as a surgeon. Understandably, these accusations prompted official governing agencies to scrutinize my professional conduct and physical health. What followed were thorough investigations by those agencies and the California Medical Board itself. Needless to say, my name was cleared and my good eyesight confirmed by two independent renowned ophthalmologists. My incontestable good standing with the Medical Board can be referenced here: Dr Haworth/CA Medical Board status . I am now gratified to confirm justice has finally prevailed. The criminal conduct I reported led not only to the arrest of my erstwhile employee but also eight doctors from Las Vegas to Hawaii. They were all charged and prosecuted as part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (“DEA”) Operation Hypocritical Oath. I choose not to repeat here the details of this criminal conduct. I will instead leave it to you to read and interpret the same for yourself. The DEA's recount of the events leading to the arrest of these criminals is found here: Official DEA Criminal Complaint Official DEA Summary Conclusion. After being indicted on four charges by a federal grand jury, my former employee pled guilty and now has been forever banned from working within the medical field. Details can be found here: Federal indictments. In addition to the Los Angeles Times, Operation Hypocritical Oath has also been widely reported by more than 25 news outlets . Tragically, the loss of 15 lives has been attributed to the actions of some of involved individuals. Four such examples are included here: CBS Local Los Angeles Opioid Crisis-Fed Crack Down/ ABC 7.SoCal medical professionals arrested LA Times. So Cal Opioid arrests My News LA. DEA Arrests As further vindication, the frivolous lawsuit against me was dropped by Mr. Rudd’s client after she had fired him. Along the way, I have been truly gratified by many of you reaching out with kindness, sympathy and support and I regret I was unable to respond substantively to such attacks when the criminal investigation remained ongoing. It is my hope that this story may bring encouragement to someone else if they are faced with a similar predicament. Being the recipient of maliciously false accusations is bad enough, but being restrained from defending your reputation while it is happening makes it even worse. While I wish that no one else ever finds themselves in a situation where another person’s false accusations cause personal and professional damage, I know that there will likely always be people in our society whose actions injure and tear down the lives of others. This concept is deeply antithetical to my core beliefs as a surgeon. I have devoted my life to actively build-up and improve the lives of others. Whether one chooses to do so aesthetically, mentally, spiritually, or physically, I am convinced there is no greater service we can offer to each other. The experience of these last 3 years has made me only more certain of this fact and I remain deeply grateful for the incredible patients, colleagues, and professionals whose lives I have the opportunity to impact. “Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught.” J. C. WATTS Sincerely,
Randal Haworth M.D., F.A.C.S.