Coronado dentist pleads guilty to practicing unlicensed, under fake name

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An unlicensed Coronado dentist accused of taking local patients to Tijuana for dental implants pled guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges Wednesday.

Robert Mansueto faced more than 20 charges when the trial over his practices began. Wednesday, he pled guilty to two felony counts and three misdemeanor counts, including unlicensed dentistry with risk of bodily harm, grand theft, and practicing of dentistry under a false name.

Mansueto's lawyer told Team 10 they viewed the plea as a victory, saying this resolves the case for what they argue actually occurred.

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A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 15, 2018. Mansueto faces a maximum of five years in prison. 

Mansueto's plea also opens up his sentencing to the possibility of probation.

In a second case, Mansueto is also expected to enter a guilty plea to burglary, forgery, theft case against him. The maximum sentence in that case is an additional two years in prison.

Patient stories first revealed by Team 10 show Mansueto used the name Dr. Bob Franco to solicit patients. Mansueto would meet with patients at his Coronado home, before driving them to Tijuana to receive dental work.

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Investigators say Mansueto continued to advertise as a dentist after he lost his state license more than a decade ago due to "negligence and incompetence," according to Shannon Reza with the Dental Board of California.

One patient of Mansueto's told Team 10 her dental implants became infected and her sinuses were perforated during a session.

"It makes me angry. It makes me terribly sad. There's a whole host of stuff running around in my head right now," said Donna Cooper, who warned other prospective patients to do their homework before having implants placed.

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