Miami-Dade Resident Sentenced to More Than 6 Years in Prison for Operating a Miami Spa Performing Illicit Silicone Injections
Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Justin D. Green, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI), Miami Field Office; Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office; and Juan J. Perez, Director, Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), announced the six year sentence imposed upon Maribel Jimenez for operating a Miami spa which performed illicit silicone injections.
On June 16, 2017, Jimenez previously pled guilty for her participation in a conspiracy and delivery for pay of an adulterated and misbranded device received in interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead. United States District Judge Kathleen M. Williams sentenced Jimenez to the maximum five year (60 month) sentence for the conspiracy, to be followed by a consecutive term of 19 months in prison for the remaining count of conviction. In addition, the Court sentenced Jimenez to three years of supervised release and ordered her to forfeit $1,168,353. A restitution hearing has been scheduled for December 1, 2017.
According to the court record, including an agreed upon factual statement, Jimenez and her co-defendant, Magaly del Rosario (who is scheduled for sentencing on September 19, 2017, following her previous guilty plea), conspired from 2008 through August 2015 to receive and deliver an adulterated and misbranded “medical device” for pay which consisted of silicone used illegally for body contouring injections. Jimenez further admitted to having unlawfully injected this substance into hundreds of clients seeking buttocks augmentation at Bella Beauty Spa (“Bella Beauty”), a business owned by Jimenez and located at 8360 West Flagler Street in Miami. The silicone was unlawfully smuggled into the United States from Colombia throughout the period of the criminal conspiracy by means of multiple DHL deliveries of bottles falsely labeled as containing depilatory wax.
During the course of the criminal conduct, Jimenez “repeatedly and consistently” informed Bella Beauty’s clients that they would be injected with a substance that was safe, non-permanent and capable of being absorbed by the body over time,” while she “knew this not to be the case.” Jimenez and her co-defendant falsely claimed that the substance was hydrogel, hyaluronic acid, Juvederm or Restylane, or other such substances. They did not inform clients that the dermal filler material was in fact silicone, a substance known to be harmful if injected into the human body. The potentially dangerous and harmful health risks that could result from the injection of the illicit silicone include: the potential of injection into a blood vessel resulting in embolism, migration of injected silicone to other bodily regions, infection and infection-related disorders, silicone-filled scar tissue formations (“granulomas”) caused by the body’s attempt to encapsulate such a foreign substance, necrosis, skin discoloration, immune system hyperactivity and related adverse systemic conditions, disfigurement, discomfort, and pain.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of FDA-OCI, ICE-HSI and MDPD. Mr. Greenberg also thanked U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and the Colombian National Police for their assistance. This case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Outerbridge and Miesha Darrough.