Fake doctor was amateur porn actor selling sex toys and escort services: court papers

Oct 9, 2015
Amateurs
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On websites pushing porn, sex toys, escorting and massages, he was known as ‘Rick Spindoll’

Fake doctor was porn actor selling sex toys and escort services, court docs show - Rick Van Thiel, booked at Clark County Detention Center for charges including acting as a medical practitioner without a license, and possessing a gun by a prohibited person, speaks during an interview in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Rick Van Thiel, booked at Clark County Detention Center for charges including acting as a medical practitioner without a license, and possessing a gun by a prohibited person, speaks during an interview in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal

LAS  VEGAS – A man authorities say faked being a doctor and offered fixes for incurable STDs out of an east valley home also was an amateur porn actor [NSFW link] selling sex toys and escort and massage services, according to court papers.

Rick Van Thiel, 52, now faces one count each of acting as a medical practitioner without a license, possession of a gun by a prohibited person, possession of drugs and issuing drugs without a prescription.

He also is suspected of having ties to the anti-government sovereign citizens movement.

Fake doctor

The Southern Nevada Health District, the Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI are now investigating his practice, which the agencies say was based in a residential area at 4928 E. Monroe Ave., near the intersection of Owens Avenue and Nellis Boulevard.

But the investigation started in the city of Las Vegas business licensing division, according to an affidavit seeking a search warrant. Van Thiel’s arrest records said tips to the division about an unlicensed practice triggered the investigation.

Neighbors suspected “illegal business activity” on the property, which prompted the division to investigate Aug. 7, city spokesman David Riggleman said in an email Thursday morning.

Four surveillance towers stand outside a house, motor home, travel trailer, semi-truck container and three storage sheds, according to the affidavit.

Craigslist advertisements for Van Thiel’s medical services were posted in Nevada, Arizona and Utah, according to the arrest record. That brought FBI attention.

On Sept. 30, FBI agents and Las Vegas police stormed the property. The practice was shut down that day, while the FBI served the search warrant.

Van Thiel was arrested Friday.

Two nicknames online

On websites advertising his medical services, Van Thiel was sometimes referred to as “Dr. Rick.”

But on sites pushing pornographic movies, sex toys, escorting and massages — for $100 an hour — he was known as “Rick Spindoll.”

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Van Thiel said Wednesday in an interview at Clark County Detention Center that he was in the porn production business [NSFW link] before he was sentenced to four years in prison on a battery charge from 2007. He said he decided to go into the medical field after his release, because someone stole all of the footage and equipment from his porn business.

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