By Rebecca Henely
A Florida man who posed as a plastic surgeon admitted to recruiting women out of a Corona spa for illegal operations, which left them scarred and disfigured, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said.
Carlos Arango, 46, pleaded guilty to his crimes Friday in front of Queens Supreme Court Judge Dorothy Chin-Brandt, the AG said. A felony complaint filed by Sylvia Rivera, of the AG’s office in Queens Criminal Court in April, contended Arango and others allegedly performed plastic surgery for around $1,000 or more despite not having a license.
“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,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “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.”
Licensed physician Marlon Castillo and William Ordonez, who is not licensed, were also charged on Schneiderman’s April felony complaint. Castillo is 50 years old and lives in Connecticut, while Ordonez is 44 and his last known address was in Florida. Castillo’s case is pending and Ordonez has not yet been apprehended, the AG said.
Arango and Ordonez allegedly recruited women for cosmetic surgery through the Bellisima Full Service Spa, at 51-03 108th St. in Corona, the AG said. Arango said he conducted liposuction and other procedures on women, allegedly with Castillo’s knowledge, Schneiderman said. Surgeries were conducted at the Riosa Surgical Spa in Manhattan and the OnShape Medical Spa in Connecticut, the AG said. Arango then would refer patients back to the Corona spa for post-operative “massages,” according to the attorney general.
The felony complaint said one woman paid a $500 deposit for plastic surgery and $5,500 to have liposuction and fat transferred from her midsection to her buttocks. She also paid about $800 for the massages, the complaint said. Her midsection was left loose, sagging and scarred as a result of the procedure and a hard mass developed in her buttocks, the complaint said.
Two other women said they were left scarred and disfigured by procedures done by Arango and allegedly done by Castillo and Ordonez for $1,000 or more apiece, the complaint said.
Arango will be sentenced to six months in prison and five years’ probation, the AG said. He will also have to pay $8,700 in restitution to the victims, the AG said.
Schneiderman’s office asked those who believe they have been victims of a similar scam to call 212-416-8356.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.