State claims man pretended to be a doctor, treated cancer

EATONVILLE, Wash. -- State investigators say a local man who claimed to treat pain and cancer at his Pierce County health clinic was actually a fraud.

But the crackdown came too late for some of the man's patients. Court records show several people under his care died.

The Department of Health was granted an order by Pierce County Superior Court prohibiting Sung Min Im from engaging in the Unlicensed Practice of Medicine.

Records show Im owns and operates the Cleansing Way Seminar in Pierce County. According to the Department of Health, Im was ordered to stop practicing medicine without a license in 2005, but received new complaints in 2012.

The Department of Health says Im represented himself as a medical doctor and collected health information. He's also accused of advising patients not to take medication to relieve pain.

He allegedly told cancer patients not to seek hospital care, and instead treated them with "juices, herbs, prayer, honey and salt mixtures."

Several cancer patients who died are offered as examples of the type of care Im is accused of giving. A number of witnesses also offered accounts, including Beverly Siers, who said, "The whole world got cheated out of just a real strong and wonderful person because she put her faith in the wrong kind of person."

The Cleansing Way now has a closed gate and no trespassing signs. A woman who said she Im's secretary said her boss was not available to talk. But, she said that Im is not guilty of practicing medicine without a license or any of the other allegations.