Though it’s not as bad as the fake implant/Botox stories that have been making their way around the country, you’d hope (?) that outside of Los Angelenos, New Yorkers would be the most wary of quack plastic surgeons. Not everyone who hangs out near a massage parlor is licensed to inject things into your body, ladies! Haven’t we learned that by now?
Apparently not, as Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman gravely advised residents in a press release sent out today.
Though the memo was ostensibly about the felony conviction of Carlos Arango–a man who spent eight months actively performing medical procedures alongside a certified plastic surgeon in some sort of long con to kick back money to the massage parlor that they solicited patients from–the attorney general has some words to the wise for all of us.
From today’s press release:
- 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 on the NYS Office of the Professions – State Education Department website that he or she has a proper license: http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm;
- If you are receiving medical treatment out of state, contact that state’s 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.
Though his botched surgeries left women disfigured and he did not use any anesthetic (can you hear Steve Martin singing in Little Shop of Horrors?) , Mr. Arango pleaded guilty to to one count of unlicensed practice of a profession and will only be serving six months in jail. He’ll have to contend with a five-month probation and a total of $8,700 restitution to his victims. Which is really not that much money, when you think about it. $8,700 total would barely cover the reconstructive surgery costs of one person, let alone several hapless victims.
Which pretty much tells you what you need to know about the state’s stance on phony docs: If you’re dumb enough–or cheap enough–to fall for a scam like this, you deserve the quality of expertise that comes with it.