A Northern California woman who prosecutors say posed as a nurse to give patients Botox injections and other cosmetic treatments that left them with “significant facial deformities” was charged with multiple felonies this week.
Susan Ann Tancreto, 60, told clients at a Redding day spa that she was a nurse working for Dr. Larry Pyle before she injected Botox and other substances into their faces and lips, according to court documents. However, Shasta County prosecutors said she has never been licensed as a nurse.
Tancreto is facing eight felony counts, including mayhem, battery with serious bodily injury, unlicensed practice of medicine, selling/transporting a controlled substance and dissuading a witness. She has pleaded not guilty.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began investigating Tancreto after they received a complaint. Investigators discovered that Tancreto purchased Botox — a prescription drug — online from other countries and directly from Pyle and then used the drug in the procedures.
“Dr. Pyle did not examine the individuals who were receiving Botox and/or filler treatments from Tancreto to ensure they were appropriate candidates to receive such treatment,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Prosecutors charged Pyle, 70, with a felony count of aiding or abetting in the unlicensed practice of medicine. He has not yet entered a plea, according to court records.
Pyle was placed on seven years’ probation with the state medical board in February 2016 after who was accused of sexual misconduct with a patient and gross negligence. He is required to have a third-party chaperone present while consulting, examining or treating female patients, according to medical board records.
He was previously placed on three years’ probation in 2014, stemming from another sexual misconduct accusation, records show.
Prosecutors said Tancreto’s injections resulted in “severe injury and facial deformities to victims,” who now require long-term medical treatment.
One of Tancreto’s clients learned — after seeing a surgeon who performed a biopsy — that silicone had been injected into her lips even though silicone has not been approved by the FDA to be injected to fill wrinkles or augment tissues in the body. As a result, prosecutors said the woman now may require lifelong treatment.
Authorities also allege that Tancreto offered, sold, furnished or gave away a variety of sedatives and painkillers, including the brand medications Norco, Valium and Tramadol.