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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dorchester Woman Pleads Guilty In Connection With Unlicensed Cosmetic Injections

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BOSTON –A Dorchester woman pleaded guilty yesterday in connection with offering cosmetic buttock and lip injections in exchange for money.

Valentina Perez Tavarez, a/k/a Rossi Tavarez, 37, pleaded guilty to receipt in interstate commerce of a misbranded device and the proffered delivery thereof for pay. U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Dec. 9, 2014

Between February and September 2011, Tavarez, who was not a licensed physician or nurse, offered buttock and lip augmentation injections in her Dorchester home using a substance she referred to as “Metacor” and “Metacrill.” In a recorded conversation she stated, “Metacor” is “very safe,” and also stated that, “in this country [] like you know that’s illegal.” Tavarez referred to the substance as the “best stuff” that lasts “forever.” Tavarez offered to charge $700 per injection into each buttock.

On Sept. 9, 2011, special agents visited Tavarez at her residence in Dorchester at which time Tavarez admitted that she had performed the procedure on at least 10 customers. From her bedroom closet she retrieved an opaque plastic bottle containing a clear, viscous liquid, along with a FedEx shipping box. The bottle bore a label “Estetical Plus 100% Natural,” along with a written description in Spanish that referred to its content as massage oil and provided directions for external skin application. The bottle did not provide any information or directions for using the substance for subcutaneous cosmetic injections. The bottle had been shipped from Colombia via Federal Express. Tavarez admitted that she had arranged for the shipment of the substance with a laboratory in Columbia and that she had paid by wire $500 per box containing three bottles of the substance.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than one year in prison, one year of supervised release, five years of probation, and a fine of $10,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; James Royal, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office; and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Maxim Grinberg of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.

Updated December 15, 2014