Cancer survivor allegedly posed as doctor with fake treatments to other cancer patients

Byby Katie Utehs KGO logo
Friday, July 17, 2015
El Cerrito cancer victim robbed by man claiming to be doctor
In El Cerrito police raided the home of Vincent Gammill, a man who claimed to be a doctor with a cure for terminally ill patients.

EL CERRITO, Calif. -- Dangerous medications, empty pills and even dirt are just some of the remedies prescribed by a local man, claiming to be a cancer doctor. Investigators are looking statewide for people who may have been treated by the suspect.

Police raided the El Cerrito home of Vincent Gammill and his Richmond office.

A victim said she paid this man thousands of dollars.

Detectives say the man used his own experience as an actual cancer patient to prey on the most vulnerable of victims, the terminally ill. ABC7 News spoke with the woman who notified authorities and says she was scammed.

"Fern" is a mother of two in Thousand Oaks. She was left with a pile of pills, but nothing but more pain.

"As cancer patients we look for hope and we have hope, and we desperately believe things that you wouldn't normally believe things just because you're desperate," said Fern.

"We've located well over 25,000 doses of prescription medication," Ventura County Sheriff's Det. Robert Davidson said.

Ventura and Contra Costa County investigators say they seized the drugs from the El Cerrito home of Gammill and the Richmond-based business he'd set-up to treat cancer patients.

The problem, police say, is that Gammill is not a doctor and he physically examined Fern. But things got even stranger for her as Fern mixed a concoction in Gammill's office.

"I stupidly mixed it up and put it in my mouth and then I said, 'Well, it's burning a little bit,' and he said, 'Good. That means it's still active,'" Fern explained.

Fern contacted investigators after paying Gammill thousands to treat her late stage cancer, but she's actually lucky to have left his office at all.

"Like the Morphine Sulfate, that's a Schedule II controlled substance. It's very, very dangerous and it's easy for someone to overdose and die on that medication," Davidson said.

Gammill is facing charges related to practicing medicine without a license and furnishing prescription meds.

Detectives are trying to track down other potential victims, but say Gammil claims to have treated thousands of people -- people with no time to waste.

If you think you may have been victimized by this doctor, you can find the El Cerrito Police Department's contact info here.