LAYTON, Utah -- A chiropractor in Layton is facing criminal charges for allegedly defrauding elderly clients with a weight-loss program.
According to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL), Michael Kunzler falsely advertised to customers through his business, Rebalance Weight Loss, which they contend made thousands of dollars through empty promises.
“Based on the facts of our investigation, it is disturbing that Michael Kunzler used his position as a medical professional to defraud vulnerable senior adults, “said Mark B. Steinagel, director of DOPL.
The division has petitioned to revoke Kunzler's licence, and he is now facing 11 counts of communications fraud, forgery and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
Between 2013 and 2015, the division alleges Kunzler advertised a program that required no strenuous dieting or exercise in order to accomplish significant weight loss goals.
Court documents show that several senior citizen patients were convinced by Kunzler to pay between $3,500 and $10,000 to enter the program. However, investigators found Kunzler gave them little information about what the program consisted of until the fees were paid.
In one case, a couple that reported a history of cancer and diabetes was not informed they were only going to be allotted 400 calories a day on the diet, according to the division investigators. When their physician informed the couple that was not possible, given their health constraints, investigators said Kunzler refused to refund their payment on the same day it was made.
DOPL also found Kunzler was misrepresenting his background and facilities, even purporting to have an "Ultra Slim" weight loss machine at his office. Investigators said Kunzler told customers it was the No.1 body contouring machine in the world, and that he was the only person licensed to use it Utah. However, the machine has not been approved the Federal Food and Drug Administration for weight loss use, according to investigators, which Kunzler should have known to disclose.
Kunzler's attorney, Mark Moffat, has denied the accusations. He sent FOX13 the following statement:
"Dr. Kunzler adamantly denies that there was any kind of scheme or artifice to defraud, associated with his chiropractic practice. We have sincere questions as to why this case was ever screened for criminal charges. We believe that when all of the evidence is vetted the evidence is going to show there was absolutely no illegal conduct associated with Dr. Kunzler's practice."
Kunzler is scheduled to appear in court on the criminal charges, Monday. A license revocation hearing is scheduled for May 26.
DOPL is asking anyone who may have had a similar experience at Kunzler's business to contact them at 801-530-6630.