Initially, the medical director for the Maryland State Police told investigators he was unaware that an erectile dysfunction clinic was telling customers that he was its top doctor.
But Dr. Donald W. Alves later conceded that he in fact had a business relationship with the clinic, run by a convicted felon and repeat securities fraud violator, and which customers had complained was providing poor treatment and charging steep fees, records show.
Alves, who state officials say was making $289,800 in his state police position, was charged with unprofessional conduct in December by the Maryland State Board of Physicians and is facing possible sanctions at an upcoming hearing scheduled for later this month.
On Friday morning, Alves resigned from the state police effective Thursday. Attempts to reach him for comment were not immediately successful.
The controversy is the latest in recent months for Maryland State Police. The agency is facing questions about a quota system among officers on the Eastern Shore that Gov. Wes Moore’s pick for superintendent has called “blatantly wrong,” while the FBI arrested a Western Maryland drug task force officer for tipping off a wiretap target in exchange for money. The attorney general’s office’s unit that investigates police custody deaths statewide gave its strong criticism yet in a report about officers’ actions related to a man’s overdose death in jail, while Black troopers filed a class action lawsuit in October alleging racial discrimination.
State police, who initially said they could not discuss the Alves situation at all, said they found out about the Board of Physicians complaint on Feb. 6. They declined further comment, referring to it as a personnel issue.
Alves was listed as the medical director for The Guy’s Clinic, which was also known as My Men’s Clinic and Metro Men’s Health Clinic and advertised that its “doctors” would provide treatment and “safely awaken your sex life in just one visit.”
The Board of Physicians received three complaints about the clinic between September 2020 and January 2021, with customers saying they had not been seen by a doctor; one said non-physician staff had administered an injection into his penis. Another customer said their insurance company called the clinic a “scam company.”
While Alves initially told the board he didn’t know why his name was being used on the clinic’s website, he later told investigators that in 2016 he had been hired to do work for them “one to two days a month.” He later worked out a delegation agreement for a physician’s assistant to treat the clinic’s clients, calling for the assistant to give the clients injections without seeking permission from Alves.
The physician’s assistant, Carl F. Oltman Sr., did not have approval from the board to provide such treatment and is also facing disciplinary action. Another staffer, DeWayne Martin, was ordered to cease and desist from activities associated with the practice of medicine.
Oltman testified all staff follow a script written by the owner of the clinic, who the board said is not a trained medical professional.
“There’s a script for everything. … There’s a script for answering the phone, there’s a script for therapy coordinator, there’s a script for me,” Oltman said, according to the physicians board.
The company is owned by Mark Thomas Johnson, who the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018 called a “recidivist violator of the federal securities law.” In 2010, Johnson pleaded guilty and was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The SEC brought another action against Johnson in 2018, saying he orchestrated a scheme that defrauded approximately 50 investors of more than $5 million.
“Over the course of two years, investors were lured into purchasing worthless securities. ... through material misrepresentations, misleading half-truths, and other deceptive conduct to create the false impression that [Thomas’ company] Owings [Group] had been successfully using its ‘streamlined’ approach for years,” the SEC wrote in court documents. “In reality, Owings had only an untested idea and an inexperienced team, and the only thing Owings did successfully was raise money from investors through fraudulent means.”
A judge ordered Thomas to pay a $1.5 million judgment in the case.
Alves’ delegation agreement with the clinic identified his primary practice areas as urology and internal medicine, but Alves told the board investigators that his primary practice area is emergency medicine, and that the agreement was “errantly marked” by someone other than himself.
“The Respondent stated he did not have any ‘specific training in erectile dysfunction,’” Assistant Attorney General Gregory L. Lockwood wrote in the charging documents. “The Respondent stated as ‘an ER doctor it’s within my scope to do the rescue procedures for priapism,’” a term for a prolonged erection.
Alves said he was paid a flat rate of $250 a week to review the physician’s assistant’s practice via “chart review, observation of clinical practice” and provide supervision via-on site, electronic means and written instructions, but Alves admitted that he never provided written instructions to Oltman. Alves stated that he occasionally talked to Oltman on the telephone and looked at charts “only infrequently, if there is a specific issue with them.”
In December 2021, the state Office of Controlled Substances Administration conducted an unannounced visit to the clinic and concluded that the “clinic practitioners are dispensing prescription drugs, including CDS medications, directly to patients without any of the practitioners possessing a dispensing permit issued by the Maryland Board of Physicians.”
In his role with the state police, Alves gave physicals to new recruits and reviewed medical retirements. He also went out to the scenes where high-risk warrants were being served.
Alves’ LinkedIn profile lists other side positions he has held over the years in addition to this state police duties. He said he was an attending emergency medicine faculty member at Johns Hopkins University from 2007 until 2020, and has been an adjunct emergency health services assistant professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County for 22 years.
Baltimore Banner reporter Pamela Wood contributed to this article.