LOS ANGELES – A Monterey Park woman has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison for injecting a woman with a foreign substance for the purpose of buttock enhancement.
Ana Bertha Diaz Hernandez, 47, was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez. In addition to the prison term, Diaz was ordered to pay a $95,000 fine and $30,000 in restitution to the victim.
Diaz pleaded guilty last July to receiving and delivering an adulterated and misbranded medical device. According to a plea agreement filed in the case, the victim – who is identified as “I.T.” – filed a complaint with the California Medical Board after seeking treatments from Diaz to enhance her buttocks. I.T. stated that the product Diaz injected into her buttocks migrated to her “back, hips and legs.”
During a series of treatments that cost thousands of dollars, Diaz explained to I.T. that she was injecting a “natural product,” at points claiming the injections were “lamb’s fat.” However, after a series of treatments, I.T. began to suffer pain and experience serious medical complications, which led her to seek the assistance of a doctor in Colombia who specializes in reversing cosmetic procedures.
During Monday’s sentencing hearing, I.T. explained that she has experienced a great deal of pain, suffered from infections and complications, and was hospitalized for more than three weeks due to the injections administered by Diaz. I.T. underwent a major surgery to remove the substance injected into her buttocks and received skin grafts to repair the damage. The victim will need further reconstructive medical procedures. I.T. told the court that Diaz had lied to her and that she believed Diaz when Diaz said that the product was safe and would never move.
Diaz never told I.T. or her other customers that the product she was injecting into their buttocks had been illegally smuggled into the United States from Mexico, that the product was a medical device that was not approved for use in the United States for the purpose of enhancing buttocks or body contouring, and that she was not licensed in the United States to perform any such medical procedure.
Diaz intentionally defrauded and misled her customers regarding the safety of the substance and the nature of her qualifications to use the illegally smuggled medical device for body contouring purposes. Diaz injected the liquid substance into at least 10 customers – earning at least $40,000 from her illegal conduct. Despite the risk of death or serious bodily injury to her customers, and notwithstanding complaints from customers that they had suffered injuries from the procedure, Diaz recklessly continued to inject her customers with the smuggled and illegal substance.
This case was investigated by the United States Food and Drug Administration – Office of Criminal Investigations and the California Medical Board.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph O. Johns, Chief of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section, and Assistant United States Attorney Amanda M. Bettinelli of the Environmental and Community Safety Crimes Section.
Component(s): USAO – California, Central
Contact: Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947
Press Release Number: 18-034
Central District of California DOJ / 18-034 / March 7, 2018