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Fake Eye Doctor Back In Court Today, New Bail-Jumping Charges Added

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Lee Hagopian IV (53) in Court Today, 11/28/22
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Lee Hagopian, IV (53) of Silver Lake, WI, is getting very used to appearing in Kenosha County Circuit Court. Today, he was charged with two counts of bail-jumping, becuase he skipped out on a court date for two open cases that both involve theft and practicing optometry without a license. His lawyer told Court Commissioner Larry Keating that Hagopian wasn’t feeling well, and that is why he missed court. Hagopian faces 1.5 years in jail for the new charges.

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On July 26, 2022, a Kenosha Deputy investigated a complaint from a customer of Hagopian. He said he paid Hagopian $641.70 for an eye exam, which Hagopian can’t do, and a pair of eye-glasses. He never got the glasses. The Deputy couldn’t make contact with Hagopian, but nearby employees said they though he was living in his shop. Kenosha Court Commissioner Loren Keating issued a $2,500 cash warrant for Hagopian a couple of months later. He came to court and Keating kept the $2,500 as bail.

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On September 25, 2022, the same Deputy that investigated Hagopian two months prior was flagged down by another customer of Hagopian. The woman told police she took her 10-year-old grandson to see Hagopian who introduced himself as “Vaugn.” She thought he was a real eye doctor until she saw him on the news. She paid Hagopian $399 for glasses and the exam. About four months ago, her grandson was diagnosed with astigmatism after complaining of headaches. It is unknown if Hagopian contributed to this. On October 10, 2022, ADA Emily Gaertner charged Hagopian with misdemeanor theft, practicing optometry without a license and dispensing a prescription drug or device without practitioner’s prescription order, all misdemeanors.

Assistant District Attorney Emily Gaertner
File Photo (youtube.com)

On October 27, 2022, Hagopian appeared in court on his third practicing optometry without a license charge. Because the criminal complaint was sloppily written by the prosecutor, ADA Gaertner, Keating dismissed both optometry-related charges and left only the theft charge. The DA’s office dismissed both of theses cases and today, filed a new case with both incidents contained within one criminal complaint. Again, however, the complaint was slopily written by ADA Emily Gaertner and the Commissioner tossed one of the charges becuase probable cause was not stated. DA Mike Graveley will be reaching out to Gaertner when she is out of trial this week.

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Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner Loren “Larry” Keating in Court Today, 11/28/22
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

In court today, Keating seemed to notice how many times Hagopian has been in front of him in the last year and gave him a total of $7,500 cash bond for both cases.

Lee Hagopian, IV (53) of Silver Lake, WI,  is not a licensed optometrist. But at least as far back as 2015, people have been accusing him of practicing optometry anyway. Fox 6 did an investigative piece on him that generated a lot of interest. The next day too. Many folks came forward and accused Hagopian of doing eye exams, which only optometrists can do. At one point, the state did sanction Hagopian for practicing without a license, but no real consequences followed. His old business was called “Eye Xams” and was located on Pershing Blvd in Kenosha. There is an active alert on the Better Business Bureau website that indicates Hagopian is unlicensed.

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Hagopian fled to the western, more rural part of the county, seemingly to escape his infamy. He now runs a business in Paddock Lake called Next Day Glasses, formerly Eyes on U Optical. As an optician, he can sell glasses if you already have a prescription, but not give eye exams.

In October of 2019, about 4 years after being confronted by Fox 6, he was again being accused of doing exams illegally. Kenosha DA Mike Graveley’s Office waited 18 months to charge Hagopian with practicing optometry without a license, misdemeanor theft and obstructing an officer. The DA dismissed the theft and obstruction charges and Hagopian was only convicted of practicing optometry without a license, landing him only a $200 fine. This wasn’t the first time Kenosha’s DA went easy on Hagopian.

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In 2012 he was charged with disorderly conduct and domestic battery. The DA dropped the domestic battery charge and was given a small fine.

In 2013, according to court records, he was drinking at “Eyes On U Optical” when him and his wife got into an argument. Hagopian pushed her to the ground, broke her cell phone in half and then squeezed her neck until she couldn’t breathe. He was charged with a felony and three misdemeanors. The DA and Judge Kerkman let him off with a year of probation and dismissed the felony count.

KCE reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services to see what they have done to protect the public. We heard back from Greg Cielewicz, the communications director for the state agency. He had the following to say:

“The last complaint filed with DSPS regarding Mr. Hagopian was received in October 2019.  Since DSPS had previously issued an administrative injunction relating to Mr. Hagopian’s unlicensed practice (see the following link: ORDER0003944-00011226.pdf (wi.gov)), and we rely on the local district attorney to enforce violations of injunctions, the 2019 matter was referred to the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution.  Based on the complaints you attached with your inquiry, it appears the Kenosha County District Attorney has taken legal action on multiple occasions in the past several years on behalf of the State of Wisconsin.”

Hagopian is due back in court on January 13, 2023.

Lee Hagopian IV (53) In Court On September 21, 2022
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)
Hagopian On Zoom Court
April 21, 2021

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5 Responses

  1. A couple thoughts here.

    First, what’s wrong with this guy? Seems like there’s a bolt loose somewhere.

    Second, the DA’s office is overworked but a case like this actually could be serious. Some dangerous eye complications could result from improper dispensing of optical goods.

  2. 3 Times ????? plus, a fox news investigation. victims, scamming and stealing from people, Faking as an eye doctor??? I received more of a fine in a general speeding ticket. This is what I’m saying CORRUPTION AND PEOPLE NOT DOING THEIR JOBS.
    This guy must be giving something up, I’m willing to bet he some kind of informant for the police or something, this guy is a fake has been a fake for a long time, He was setting people up back in high school to get out of trouble with the cops. for the stuff he got caught doing. Smacks around his wife, steals, scams, well at least is no longer snowing in silver lake.

  3. I once knew Lee many years ago. He used to be the lead singer for a local Kenosha rock band called “Blu Steel” back in the early 90’s. Lee was a good singer. One of my best friends was the lead guitar player in the band. The band did pretty good for awhile. I always got along with Lee. He was always very friendly. He did like to burn the candle at both ends so-to-speak, back then, and he travelled with a pretty ‘fast crowd’ back in those days too. I kinda’ felt bad for Lee, since he did come from a rather troubled family life when he was younger. I always attributed some of his more irresponsible behavior to some residual leftover childhood trauma. Without getting into all of the gory details, I’m glad he’s still amongst us, in spite of his wrong-doings in the eye exam industry. I always wondered about him. Hopefully, someday, Lee will find his way.

  4. Myself, husband and kids went to this guy for 14yrs. I never knew any of this of his past. I’m so upset. I spent so much money there. I want to be reimbursed some how! This is absolutely BS!!!

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