Attorney General Ellison stops physician from deceptively soliciting donations
Agreement bans Excelsior-based wellness physician Sean O’Mara from soliciting for a nonexistent charity, falsely claiming charitability and tax-deductibility, and engaging in other deceptive tactics
Refers findings to Board of Medical Practice
June 14, 2023 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison today announced that he has filed an Assurance of Discontinuance that prohibits an Excelsior-based wellness physician Sean O’Mara, and his practice Medical Concierge Wellness, P.L.L.C. (“MedCon Wellness”), from soliciting contributions for a charity that did not exist, falsely claiming on his web site that fees paid to his clinic benefited charity and were tax-deductible, and other misleading statements on his web site.
“The doctor–patient relationship should be one of complete trust,” Attorney General Ellison stated. “Dr. O’Mara abused the trust of prospective patients and donors by claiming that clinic fees and donations would benefit a nonexistent charity. This Assurance prohibits him from making these claims in the future. I have also forwarded my findings to the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, who is in the best position to assess whether this conduct raises medical ethics concerns or other violations.”
In the Assurance of Discontinuance filed today, the Attorney General specifically alleged that Dr. O’Mara violated charities laws by falsely telling prospective patients that they would “be eligible for a deduction from [their] taxes by working with Dr. Sean’s Nonprofit or pay for your consultation with pretax dollars as a business expense.” The Attorney General alleged that in reality, Dr. O’Mara “never created any nonprofit” and “provided consultations through MedCon Wellness, which is not tax-exempt” or eligible for tax deductions.
The Attorney General also alleged in the Assurance that Dr. O’Mara “solicited contributions through his website, requesting funds via a PayPal link, phone calls, and the private messaging app WhatsApp” for a nonexistent charity. Dr. O’Mara also promised to “donate all [his] professional fees” to charity if a customer was not satisfied, but never made any such donations. The Assurance further notes that Dr. O’Mara has a past medical licensing history that involve allegations of misleading conduct. The Assurance holds Dr. O’Mara accountable for $25,000 for each occurrence if he violates the Assurance in the future.
In Minnesota, the Attorney General through the Charities Division has civil enforcement authority over the solicitation of charitable contributions. Under state law, no person purporting to engage in solicitation for a charitable purpose may use or employ any false promise, misrepresentation, or misleading statement in connection with a charitable solicitation. The Attorney General’s Office provides additional information and resources about charitable solicitation laws on its Charities homepage. The Charities Division does not enforce criminal laws.
The public may submit complaints to the Attorney General about potential misconduct or other concerns, either online or by calling (651) 296-3353 (Metro area), (800) 657-3787 (Greater Minnesota), or (800) 627-3529 (Minnesota Relay).