A month after 7 Eyewitness News first exposed a “deceitful doctor,” Western New Yorkers no longer have to worry about Anthony Pignataro practicing medicine under a new name -- and in possible violation of the law.
But there’s a new part of this bizarre tale: no one seems to know exactly where Pignataro is.
After the original I-Team investigation, Pignataro seemed ready to clear his name and answer questions from state regulators about why he was representing himself as a practicing doctor even though the felon had his medical license taken away two decades ago.
“I am more than happy to work with the Department of Education,” Pignataro said during a phone interview the day after our investigation.
But Pignataro now seems to have vanished, getting evicted from the West Seneca apartment he was portraying as a doctor's office and taking a leave of absence from his day job as a bulk foods delivery driver.
Pignataro did not respond to our messages, but one of his former patients called us to say he has no business in the medical profession. The patient agreed to speak candidly on the condition his or her identity would not be revealed.
“It scares me, first of all, that they would allow him to have a name change – that's wrong,” the patient said. “Second of all, that they would allow him to operate a business in a cosmetic industry in any state of the U.S. or anywhere in the world, is wrong.”
The patient added, “He should not be allowed in that industry at all. Let him be a garbage man, let him be a gardener, but he should not have direct association of serving people.”
Some believe Pignataro may have fled to Florida, where he brother lives and where he filed a name change application that may have broken the law. But others say it is likely he is still in Western New York keeping a low profile.
As investigators from the Erie County District Attorney’s Office are still looking into this case, it's clear Pignataro is no longer offering medical services to the public.
That’s something the I-Team hoped to prevent by pursuing this investigation.