The "British West Indies Medical College" Scam

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Gregory E. Caplinger died in 2009 while serving a 12-year prison sentence for fraud and money laundering in connection with a cancer scam [1]. Among other things, he claimed to have a medical degree from the British West Indies Medical College (BWIMC) in the Dominican Republic. It turned out, however, that he founded and directed the "school" and issued the diploma to himself.

In the early 1990s, Caplinger began offering to provide chiropractors with a pathway to a medical degree that was expensive but required minimal effort. Some students may have attended BWIMC for a few weeks of lectures, but it is clear that the school had no qualified faculty and did provided no real medical education. According to a report in Dynamic Chiropractic:

You might think that the above circumstances would discourage other people from claiming to be BWIMC graduates. However, I have found four:

The documents gathered by Perry's prosecutor included one from BWIMC which stated that "On the 20th day of March 1987, his degree of "Doctor of Medicine in Homeopathic and Eclectic Medicine (M.D.E.) was granted with honors." Perry's "transcript" stated that he matriculated on 3/20/86 and graduated one year later after completing 5 "terms" of classes totaling 540 hours of course work, 6 clinical rotations totaling 2000 hours, 3 dissertations (760 hours), 2 research papers, and an oral examination. None of this was possible, of course because he lived and worked in South Carolina during that year. The address for the school was given as "c/o American Nutritional Medical Association, 1326 Dearborn Street, Gary Indiana." The AMNA, founded in 1983, was an elaborate "paper conglomerate" that issued scores of different phony credentials [6]. Caplinger claimed to be a senior AMNA vice president in charge of legal affairs and credential services. The Indiana address suggests that BWIMC was hatched in 1987 or earlier as part of AMNA's credential scheme.


  1. Gregory Caplinger and his cancer scam. Quackwatch, July 12, 2009.
  2. Kelly S. DCs lured to foreign medical school. Dubious goings-on down Santo Domingo Way. Dynamic Chiropractic Archives, Jan 1, 1993.
  3. Whole-istic Solutions bios page. Whole-istic Solutions Web site, accessed July 4, 2006.
  4. Laser Spine Institute Doctors. Laser Spine Institute Web site, accessed July 3, 2006.
  5. Bogus naturopath (Laurence Perry) convicted of manslaughter. Quackwatch, April 16, 2002.
  6. Barrett S. American Nutrimedical Association. Quackwatch, April 16, 2002.

This page was revised on November 10, 2013.

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