A Monterey Park beautician who performed illegal procedures to enhance women’s buttocks was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison and ordered to pay $125,000 in fines and restitution.
Ana Bertha Diaz Hernandez, 48, persuaded clients to let her inject fluids into them. She claimed she could make women more shapely, but one client needed major corrective surgery.
U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez in Los Angeles ordered Diaz to pay a $95,000 fine and $30,000 in restitution to the victim.
Diaz had pleaded guilty in July and faced up to three years in prison for one count of receipt of an adulterated and misbranded medical device, according to federal court records.
Prosecutors alleged that Diaz collected at least $40,000 for “recklessly” performing injections on more than 10 customers.
The beautician, who held no licenses in the U.S. that qualified her to perform the injections, charged thousands of dollars for what she described as lamb's fat injections, court records said.
According to an affidavit filed in connection with the case, a victim identified as “I.T.” complained to the California Medical Board.
Diaz allegedly recommended 15 injections in each buttock as well as “amino acid” shots to remove stretch marks. After the first visit, the woman returned four more times in 2015, spending $5,000 to $6,000.
By the end of that year, the woman began feeling cramps, itchiness and stinging, and developed lumps in her buttocks. Her fingers also became swollen.
In August 2016, the woman traveled to Colombia to see a specialist in correcting plastic surgery blunders. The doctor removed the substance as well as portions of the woman’s buttocks, according to the affidavit. He had to use skin grafts to rebuild the skin.
I.T. remained in Colombia for 23 days to recover from the surgery.
The substance used in the injections might have been silicone, authorities said, but neither silicone nor a product from lambs has been approved for such procedures by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Injections of silicone for body contouring purposes, especially deep-tissue injections into the buttocks of the large amounts of silicone that would be required to achieve visible buttocks augmentation and enhancement, present serious risks and dangers,” the affidavit stated.
In a few cases, victims have died.
I.T. later became involved in gathering evidence against Diaz, recording a meeting in which Diaz made a sales pitch for the procedure to another person.