For Immediate Release: September 7, 2012
Conviction Of Fake Plastic Surgeon Who Disfigured Patients
Carlos Arango Pleads Guilty To Felony Charge Of Unlicensed Practice Of Medicine, Will Be Sentenced To Six Months In Prison And Pay Over $8,000 Restitution To His Victims
(Long Island, NY) Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the felony conviction of fake “plastic surgeon” Carlos Arango. In a felony complaint filed in April 2012, the Attorney General charged Carlos Arango and William Ordonez, who are not licensed doctors, along with licensed physician Marlon Castillo, for allegedly performing cosmetic surgeries on women without general anesthesia and leaving them permanently disfigured as a result.
“Practicing medicine without a license is a very serious crime in New York, and we will hold accountable anyone who preys on vulnerable communities to make a quick buck. Mr. Arango lured unsuspecting patients with bargain prices for very complex medical procedures, putting his own greed ahead of the health and safety of his victims,” said Attorney General Schneiderman.
In his guilty plea today before the Honorable Dorothy Chin-Brandt in Queens County Supreme Court, Arango admitted that he solicited patients and performed cosmetic surgeries on them between approximately April 2011 and December 2011. Arango admitted that he, together with co-defendant Ordonez, recruited women from Bellisima Full Service Spa, located at 51-03 108th Street in Corona, Queens. Arango further admitted that he held himself out to be a doctor, although he is not a licensed physician. After recruiting patients from Bellisima Spa, Arango admitted that he practiced medicine without a license by performing liposuction and other invasive procedures on women, with defendant Castillo’s knowledge. Arango admitted that he performed surgical procedures at OnShape Medical Spa, located at 60 Strawberry Hill Avenue in Stamford, Connecticut, and at Riosa Surgical Spa, located at 211 West 106th Street in Manhattan. Arango further admitted that, after the surgeries, he referred patients to Bellisima Spa for post-operative “massages.”
Arango pleaded guilty to one count of Unlicensed Practice of a Profession (a Class “E” felony). He will be sentenced to six months in prison and five years probation, and must pay $8,700 restitution to his victims.
The case against co-defendant Marlon Castillo remains pending. William Ordonez, the third individual charged in the Attorney General’s complaint, remains at large. The charges against these defendants are allegations, and these defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
In an ongoing effort to protect and educate New Yorkers, Attorney General Schneiderman reminded the public of the following tips to avoid becoming victims:
Physicians and Physicians Assistants must be licensed in the State of New York by the New York State Department of Education. If possible, before visiting one of these professionals, confirm on the NYS Office of the Professions – State Education Department website that he or she has a proper license: http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm;
If you are receiving medical treatment out of state, contact that state’s licensing authority to confirm that the medical professional is in fact licensed to practice that area of medicine;
If you feel you have been a victim of this type of crime or if you have additional information regarding this matter, please contact the Attorney General’s office at (212) 416-8356. Spanish-speaking personnel will be available for individuals who do not speak English.
The Attorney General thanks the New York State Department of Education, the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, and the Stamford, Connecticut Police Department for their assistance.
The case is being prosecuted by Criminal Prosecutions Bureau Assistant Attorney General Arielle Singer, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton, Bureau Chief Gail Heatherly and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Nancy Hoppock. The investigation was handled by Investigator Sylvia Rivera and Analyst Justin Tatham, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Michael Ward, Deputy Chief of Investigations John McManus, Deputy Chief Investigator John Reidy and Chief Dominick Zarella.