A. G. Schneiderman Announces Criminal Charges Against Doctor & Two Fake Surgeons Who Disfigured Women
Two Unlicensed Individuals & One Medical Doctor Recruited Women from Queens Spa & Performed Liposuction Without General Anesthesia, Permanently Disfiguring Them
Victims Are Encouraged To Contact the Attorney General's Office
Schneiderman: The Perpetrators Of These Heinous Crimes Will Be Held Accountable
NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced charges against fake "plastic surgeons" Carlos Arango and William Ordonez, who are not licensed doctors in the states of New York and Connecticut, along with licensed physician Marlon Castillo, for allegedly performing cosmetic surgeries on women without general anesthesia and leaving them permanently disfigured as a result.
Defendants Castillo and Arango were arraigned this morning in Queens County Criminal Court before the Honorable Justice Lenora Gerald. Castillo was arrested last Thursday in Stamford, Connecticut and Arango was arrested last Wednesday in Palm, Beach Florida. Both waived extradition and were returned to New York to face these charges. Ordonez, the third individual charged in the Attorney General's complaint, which was unsealed today, remains at large.
“Performing surgery without a license is a very serious crime in New York, and we will ensure that the perpetrators of these horrific actions are brought to justice. To prey on and profit off of unsuspecting patients is unconscionable. We will prosecute these criminals and hold them accountable for their heinous crimes,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.
The Attorney General's felony complaint, filed in Queens County Criminal Court, charges each defendant with Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (a Class "E" felony), Unauthorized Practice of a Profession (a Class "E" felony) and Assault in the Second Degree (a Class "D" felony), among other charges. The scheme involved multiple patients who were solicited and underwent cosmetic surgery between approximately April 2011 and December 2011.
According to the felony complaint, the defendants recruited women from Bellisima Full Service Spa, located at 51-03 108th Street in Corona, Queens. Arango and Ordonez pretended to be doctors, although neither is a licensed physician. After recruiting patients from Bellisima Spa, defendants Arango and Ordonez arranged for the patients to have surgery in New York or to be transported to Connecticut for surgery. It is further alleged that they unlawfully practiced medicine without a license by performing liposuction and fat transfers on women, while Castillo periodically entered and exited the room. It is further alleged that the defendants performed these surgical procedures without general anesthesia.
According to the felony complaint, Arango and Ordonez allegedly performed two surgical procedures at OnShape Medical Spa, located at 60 Strawberry Hill Avenue in Stamford, Connecticut. A third patient, also recruited from Bellisima Spa, underwent surgery at Riosa Surgical Spa, located at 211 West 106th Street in Manhattan. Arango and Ordonez are not licensed physicians, nurses nor physicians assistants in either New York or Connecticut and therefore are prohibited from performing such medical procedures.
The complaint further alleges that after their surgeries, the patients were directed to receive post-operative "massages" at Bellisima Spa in Queens. Patients operated on by Ordonez and Arango reported pain and discomfort and, in some cases, permanent disfigurement.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to seven years in prison.
Arango and Castillo are both currently in custody on $100,000 bail. The Honorable Justice Gerald also ordered that both defendants surrender their passports.
In an effort to protect and educate New Yorkers, Attorney General Schneiderman issued the following tips to the public so they can avoid becoming victims:
- Physicians and Physicians Assistants must be licensed in the State of New York by the New York State Department of Education. If possible, before visiting one of these professionals, confirm their license on the State Education Department's website - Office of the Professions: http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm
- If you are receiving medical treatment out of state, contact that state's respective licensing authority to confirm that the medical professional is in fact licensed to practice that area of medicine.
If you feel you have been a victim of this type of crime or if you have additional information regarding this matter, please contact the Attorney General’s office at (212) 416-8356. Spanish-speaking personnel will be available for individuals who do not speak English.
The charges against the defendants are allegations. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Attorney General Schneiderman thanked the Stamford, Connecticut Police Department and the Palm Beach County Sherriff's Office for their valuable assistance. The Attorney General also thanked the New York State Department of Education and the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health.
The investigation was handled by Investigator Sylvia Rivera and Analyst Justin Tatham, under Supervising Investigator Michael Ward, Deputy Chief of Investigations John McManus, Deputy Chief Investigator John Reidy and Chief Dominick Zarella. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Arielle Singer and Joseph D'Arrigo, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton, Bureau Chief Gail Heatherly, and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Nancy Hoppock.