The U.S. Department of Justice announced that two women in Miami-Dade County received sentences for operating a spa where they performed illegal silicone butt injections. Maribel Jimenez, the owner of the spa, received the maximum sentence of 60 months on August 30, 2017, and Magaly del Rosario, her assistant, received a sentence of 50 months on September 20, 2017. Both had previously pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy and delivery for pay of an adulterated and misbranded device received in interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead.
According to court records, including agreed upon factual statements, Jimenez and del Rosario conspired to receive and deliver an adulterated and misbranded medical device for pay. The women illegally injected silicone into hundreds of their clients from 2008 through August 2015 for body contouring. The silicone came from Columbia via multiple DHL deliveries in bottles falsely labeled as containing depilatory wax. The women lied to their clients about what was being injected into them. In court documents, del Rosario admitted, “Despite the fact that I repeatedly and consistently informed Bella Beauty’s buttocks augmentation clients that they would be injected with a substance that was safe, non-permanent and capable of being absorbed or excreted by the body over time, I knew this not to be the case.” She needed surgery in 2014 to have some silicone removed from her own buttocks.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had not approved liquid silicone or silicone gel for injection to fill wrinkles or augment tissues anywhere in the body. The potential health risks from having silicone injected into the body include:
- The injection going into a blood vessel resulting in an embolism
- Migration of injected silicone to other regions of the body
- Infection and infection-related disorders
- Formation of granulomas as body attempts to encapsulate the foreign substance
- Skin discoloration
- Immune system hyperactivity
- Disfigurement, discomfort, and pain