A Utah Grand Jury returned 26 counts of mail and wire fraud against two Utah residents allegedly involved in a cosmetic surgery business operating without a supervising doctor and selling medications without prescriptions or medical oversight.
Potentially sentenced to 30 years imprisonment and $1 million fine for each count of mail fraud, William Ricker Ferguson, age 52, and Ashlee Choate, age 21, are accused of running a Utah business known as Hollywood Body MD Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, reports the Department of Justice.
Advertising as “Utah’s largest facility using the world’s most advanced, state-of-the-art, FDA approved advanced technology to safely and effectively restore the beauty that enriches our lives,” Ferguson and Choate are accused of using the names and DEA registration numbers of doctors without their knowledge to “obtain prescription medications including HCG, Botox, Valium, Percocet as well as other controlled substances and to obtain medical equipment for laser hair removal, liposuction and facial laser treatments,” reports the DOJ.
The federal grand jury indictment alleges that Ferguson posed as a medical doctor to prospective and actual patients, performing medical procedures and prescribing medication. Choate is charged with prescribing medication without being a doctor. They are accused also of transmitting fraudulent prescriptions for HCG from Hollywood Body in Utah to Rejuvi Pharmacy in Boca Raton, Florida.
Evidence presented before the grand jury charged Ferguson with conducting liposuction and laser treatments which caused permanent scarring of patients.
Said Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Holland of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, Kansas City, “The impersonation of a health care professional, as today’s indictment alleges, is a callous breach of patient trust, which potentially subjects patients to significant harm. The FDA will continue to aggressively pursue perpetrators of such acts, as well as those who dispense misbranded drug products, and ensure that they are punished to the full extent of the law.”