North Carolina Man Admits Receiving and Selling Misbranded Silicone for Buttocks Injections Resulting in the Death of a Client
Falsely Represented to Customers that Silicone was Medical Grade and that Injections were Safe
Greenbelt, Maryland –Vinnie Lysander Taylor, a/k/a “T,” age 44, of Wilmington, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Georgia, pleaded guilty on May 26, 2016, to charges of receiving and selling industrial grade silicone, but representing to customers that it was medical grade silicone.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks; Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office; and Chief Hank Stawinski of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
“Injecting industrial-grade silicone into individuals’ bodies can result in serious bodily injury or death,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office. “FDA’s OCI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who offer this dangerous product to the public.”
Taylor admitted that from at least 2008 through December 16, 2014, he administered silicone injections into the buttocks of customers who wanted larger or fuller buttocks. Taylor, who was not a licensed medical practitioner, falsely represented to customers and victims to whom he administered liquid silicone injections that the procedure was safe and that he used medical grade silicone, when in fact the silicone was not medical grade silicone. Taylor administered the injections in hotel rooms in Prince George’s County, Maryland, St. Louis, Missouri, Arlington, Virginia, and elsewhere. Taylor charged between $800 and $1000 for the initial injections and between $350 and $800 for subsequent injections. When used in this fashion, liquid silicone is a medical device subject to regulation by the FDA.
In Maryland, between at least 2012 and December 2014, Taylor administered silicone injections to more than 10 individuals, representing to each victim that he used medical grade silicone and that it was safe. In fact, Taylor did not use medical grade silicone, but used polydimethylsiloxane, a common silicone product used in commercial applications such as foods, lubricating oils, sealants and shampoos.
On March 20, 2014, Taylor injected silicone into the buttocks of a victim. After the victim left the hotel she began having breathing difficulties. On March 22, 2014, the victim checked herself into the hospital and two days later, she died. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was acute and chronic respiratory failure due to a foreign substance causing a pulmonary embolization. The medical examiner ruled the manner of death to be a homicide. A clear viscous fluid removed from the victim’s buttocks during the autopsy was determined to be polydimethylsiloxane.
According his plea agreement, from approximately 2008 through December 2, 2014, Taylor purchased 152 gallons of food grade liquid silicone. Taylor stored the liquid silicone in plastic bottles that were not labeled nor approved by the FDA for that purpose. Therefore, the liquid silicone was adulterated and misbranded. The 152 gallons of silicone equates to 3,196 sessions. At $500 per treatment, Taylor’s mid-range fee, proceeds from the illegal injections total at least $1,598,000.
As part of his plea agreement, Taylor has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal information that will be filed in Prince George’s County Circuit Court, admitting that Taylor’s conduct resulted in the death of the victim in March 2014. In exchange, the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office dismissed first degree murder charges which were pending against Taylor.
Taylor, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Taylor will be sentenced to between 12 and 15 years in prison. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for August 19, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. Taylor remains detained.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office, the Prince George’s County Police Department, and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Deborah A. Johnston and William D. Moomau, who are prosecuting the case.