CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

West Valley woman accused of performing illegal liposuction procedures in her basement

Oct 18, 2023, 9:24 PM

West Valley police and state licensing officials are investigating a woman they believe was providi...

West Valley police and state licensing officials are investigating a woman they believe was providing illegal cosmetic medical procedures to Latino women in her basement. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

WEST VALLEY CITY — A woman is under investigation for allegedly performing cosmetic medical procedures in her basement, even though investigators say she does not hold any medical licenses in Utah.

The 37-year-old woman has not been arrested or charged as of Wednesday. West Valley police say once test results are returned from the Utah State Crime Lab, they plan to take the case to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office for potential criminal charges. Police say charges may also be sought against at least one other person.

The police investigation began in September when officers received information from the Utah Division of Professional Licensing that the woman “was conducting medical procedures without licensing in the basement of her home residence which is believed to be a rental property,” according to a search warrant affidavit.

“The complainant claims that (the woman) was doing medical procedures like post liposuction CoolSculpting, and dentistry out of the basement of her house. (The woman) is from another country and does not have the proper training or license,” the affidavit states. “(She) wears a nurse uniform and does post liposuction treatment without proper tools or permit and only does work with Latino women.”

Investigators also found a post on social media that appears to advertise the woman offering “cooltech or cryolipolysis massage therapy.”

State licensing officials began looking at the woman in May, after a neighbor “reported seeing women at the residence being assisted into the residence. The neighbor believes these women had recently had surgery and were obviously bleeding as blood was observed coming from the various women,” according to the affidavit.

The state learned that at least four other complaints had been filed against the woman since 2021, but each of those cases was later closed, the affidavit states.

After reviewing the latest evidence that was collected, West Valley police concluded the woman “is engaged in providing medical services without a license. Your affiant believes (she) is injecting lidocaine into these woman which is not needed in a standard cooltech or cryolipolysis massage therapy,” the affidavit states.

Lidocaine is a state regulated local anesthesia. Investigators believe the woman was getting her supply shipped to her from another country “due to the language on the bottles.” Cryolipolysis is sometimes called “fat freezing,” or the process of freezing fat cells as a weight loss method. Some patients were allegedly staying at the woman’s home “for up to five days at a time receiving treatment/care.”

Police also learned, based on the alleged procedures clients were receiving, “there should be no reason why the woman would be bleeding so severely that they would need the medical pads to catch the blood coming from these woman. Your affiant affirms to the court that cooltech procedures do not include any loss of blood and the photos showing the women with blood loss is more consistent with liposuction type medical procedures,” the affidavit states.

In one picture provided to investigators, police believe a woman who just had a procedure in the house had so much bruising and bleeding that she appeared to need “immediate medical care,” according to the warrant. Investigators showed the pictures to a registered nurse who noted “the photos were concerning and the blood loss not normal for a human being.”

“DOPL investigators have attempted numerous times to see the medical equipment in (the woman’s) home. (She) has refused entry to DOPL investigators, and claims that she just sells supplements and women’s girdles, refusing to cooperate in the DOPL investigation fully,” the affidavit alleges.

West Valley police executed a search warrant on the residence in September and were able to enter the basement. Among the items seized were a “cryo-sculpting machine,” a “plasma spinner,” various bottles with substances in them, a syringe with “unknown medicine” in it, an “unknown medical machine,” a “lidocaine injection kit,” 11 shots used for weight loss, “gluteus maximus enhancer equipment,” a laser machine, a sculpting machine, and “unknown injectable medication,” according to a return on the warrant.

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West Valley woman accused of performing illegal liposuction procedures in her basement