Elizabeth Larijani California woman posed as dental hygienist for years without credentials in South Bay. Faked or stole credentials.
A California woman is alleged to have posed as a dental hygienist for years despite not having credentials.
Elizabeth ‘Mina’ Larijani, 50, worked or attempted to work as a hygienist at 10 dental clinics between 2015 and 2020 in South Bay, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday.
Larijani faces felony charges, often having impersonated credentialed hygienists in order to secure a working position.
Investigators located Larijani, who also went by the name Elizabeth Garcia Costilla, in Glendale, Arizona. They said she was working as a dental hygienist there, but it’s unclear if she had secured her job in Arizona legally.
Cops extradited the fraudster on Friday to San Jose, California to face charges.
A judge set bail at $40,000. She was released from custody on Monday after posting bail KTVU reported.
To practice as a registered dental hygienist in California, a person must complete an approved educational program, pass both written and clinical examinations, and apply for a license with the Dental Hygiene Board of California.
Investigators said Larijani often faked her credentials by using the stolen identity of an actual licensed dental hygienist.
They said when employers questioned her qualifications, she would evade the situation by moving to another dental office.
‘The last thing someone needs to be worrying about is whether the person cleaning their teeth, or using anesthetics, is licensed to do that work,’ District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement.
‘We are grateful to the Dental Board investigators who brought these violations to our attention, and to the law enforcement agencies in Arizona who assisted us in locating the defendant,’ he added.
Larijani’s next court date is scheduled for June 13.
The District Attorney’s Office is currently seeking anyone with information that might help investigators locate possible victims who suffered physical harm as a result of the allegations. Krissi Durant of the Santa Clara DA’s office is the point person and can be reached at (408) 792-2567.