An Arizona man with no medical license and no formal medical training who performed illegal cosmetic surgery procedures on unsuspecting women in the Tucson area was sentenced on August 8, 2017 to 38.25 years in prison after pleading guilty in April 2017 to 28 felony charges arising out of the man performing illegal liposuction and other procedures. Three of the fake doctor’s “patients” required hospitalization following the botched procedures and one sustained life-threatening injuries.
The 54-year-old man was arrested in August 2013 after two of his victims went to the hospital with serious aggressive infections resulting from the liposuction procedures that the man had performed on them. An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad in Tucson, Arizona determined that the man was not a licensed doctor and that he had no official medical training. A judge released the man on bond shortly after his arrest. After the fake doctor’s arrest was publicized, additional women came forward stating that they also had procedures performed by the fake doctor.
The man’s office appeared to his victims as a legitimate medical office equipped with an operating table, medical equipment, and cabinets stocked with prescription medications. Seven of the fake doctor’s victims had procedures performed by him in his fake office in Tucson between 2012 and 2014. The fake doctor also dispensed prescription medications to his victims.
One of the man’s victims suffered permanent stroke-like symptoms after she had liposuction performed by the fake doctor in his home in June 2014, during which she stopped breathing. Despite the victim suffering multiple seizures and lack of oxygen to her brain, the fake doctor did not seek medical care for her for almost an hour. The woman was dropped off at a local hospital where she spent the next six weeks in a coma suffering from a brain injury. The fake doctor was re-arrested and this time held without bond.
In announcing the man’s sentencing, the Arizona Attorney General stated, “Gustavo Nunez victimized unsuspecting women and violated the public’s trust. Justice has been served.”
The Special Agent in Charge of the DEA in Arizona stated, “Gustavo Nunez represents the worst type of criminal. One who preyed upon women in our communities and most certainly deserves the sentence handed to him today. The DEA is committed to protecting our citizens from dangerous offenders who operate under false pretenses and put the lives of our loved ones in danger.”
The fake doctor did not limit his procedures to liposuction. One woman reported that the man had botched her breast augmentation and liposuction procedures. Another woman reported that the man botched her procedure where he removed fat from her abdomen and injected the fat into her buttocks.
The fake doctor’s girlfriend was also involved in the illegal activity, was arrested, and was previously sentenced to seven years in prison.
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