A.G. Schneiderman Secures Guilty Plea From Unlicensed Plastic Surgeon Co-Conspirator
Assistant To Unlicensed Plastic Surgeon Lured Unsuspecting Patients Into Complex Medical Procedures; Performed Unlawful Post-Operative Procedures
Schneiderman: Those Who Endanger New Yorkers To Line Their Own Pockets Will Be Held Accountable
NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Alma Melo, the co-conspirator of Dominican-based plastic surgeon Hector Cabral, who pleaded guilty to Unauthorized Practice of Medicine in Octoberof 2011. Melo, who performed illegal post-operative procedures on Cabral’s victims, pleaded guilty to 1 count of Scheme to Defraud in the 2nd Degree and to 1 count of Conspiracy in the 5th degree before New York Supreme Court Judge Laura Ward. As part of the guilty plea agreement, she will pay restitution to her victims.
Melo was out of the country at the time the instant indictment was issuedagainst her and co-defendant Cabral and a warrant was issued for her arrestin February of 2011. Melo was arrested at Newark Airport on January 17th, 2013, by U.S. Customs when she attempted to re-enter into the U.S. from the Dominican Republic.
“Ms. Melo endangered unsuspecting patients in order to line her own pockets,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Luring patients into receiving complex medical procedures from an unlicensed plastic surgeon is despicable, and she will now be held accountable for her actions.”
On October 17, 2011 doctor Cabral pleaded guilty to one count of Unauthorized Practice of Medicine a Class E Felony and he was sentenced on April 3, 2012 to a conditional discharge, the conditions being: to provide restitution in the amount of $23,055.00 to the victims who paid for the surgeries, a fine in the amount of $5,000 and he was prohibited from obtaining a license to practice medicine in the state of New York for a period of 3 years.
It was alleged that on at least 10 different occasions between November 2006 until around November 2009, Hector Cabral unlawfully practiced medicine without a license, charging a fee for medical consultations and examinations to women at various health spas and beauty parlors in New York State. It was further alleged that Hector Cabral would then perform cosmetic surgical procedures on these women in the Dominican Republic. Immediately after performing the surgery he would advise these women to contact Alma Melo, also un-licensed, for "Post Operative Treatment" in New York State.
Two of Melo’s victims paid between $50-$60 for each of the more than 62 post-treatment sessions combined. Those victims will be receiving restitution in full, for a total of $3,520.00.
The post-operative treatment performed by Melo consisted of inherently dangerous procedures including: using a sharp instrument to remove dead skin, injecting the victims with a large syringe to extract copious fluids from their bodies, and remove stitches from wounded areas.
According to records maintained by the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions, Division of Professional Licensing Services, neither Hector Cabral nor Alma Melo are licensed to practice medicine in New York State.
The case was handled by Guy H. Mitchell, Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Harlem Regional Office, with the assistance of Assistant Attorney General Judy Prosper of the Westchester Regional Office, under the supervision of Gail Heatherly, Chief of the Criminal Prosecution Bureau, and Kelly Donovan, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice. Investigators Angel LaPorte, Ismael Hernandez, David Negron under the supervision of supervising investigator John McManus assisted with the investigation of the case.