Four people who had been treated in a South Florida clinic developed Botulism poisoning as a result of injections with counterfeit Botox. Two were patients at a facility licensed as a spa called Advanced Integrated Medical Center (AIMC). The other two were Bach McComb, the owner of AIMC, and his assistant Alma Hall. Investigations at the AIMC uncovered flyers and receipts that pointed to a company in Arizona called Toxin Research International (TRI) as the source of the fake Botox. Bach McComb and the owners of TRI, Chad Livdahl and his wife, Zahra Karim, were charged in 2006. Livdahl was sentenced to 9 years in prison, and Karim sentenced to 5.8 years
Who: Centers for Disease Control, FDA-OCI.
When: January 26, 2006; October 2003-November 2004.
Where: Tucson, Arizona
How: CDC/FDA-OCI investigation of Botulism poisoning in Florida.
Additional details: What started as a OCI investigation of a single South Florida medical clinic blew up into 210 investigations of medical clinics all over the United States. By July 2008, OCI investigators had made 31 arrests and achieved 29 convictions of individuals in the case. It is suspected that nearly 1,000 patients were unwittingly administered the counterfeit Botox.
“ FDA Law Enforcers Crack Down on Illegal Botox Scammers,” FDA Consumer Updates. February 20, 2009.
“ FDA-OCI Enforcement Story Archive, Chapter 6,” FDA. Accessed April 10, 2013.
“ 5 Docs Plead Guilty in Bogus Botox Rap; Stems From Toxin research International Case.,” CBS News. August 14, 2009.
“ Is It Botox, o Is It Bogus?,” new York Times. December 5, 2004.
“ Lethal Toxin Sold As Cheap Botox.,” kirotv.com. February 14, 2005.
“ Plastic Surgery Group Pleads Guilty to Bogus BOTOX Treatments,” The Business Review. August 12, 2009.
“March 30, 2009: Las Vegas Doctor and Wife Sentenced to Prison for Botox Fraud Scheme,” FDA-OCI Press Release. March 30, 2009.