Review Journal –
An unemployed Las Vegas woman posed as a nurse and gave unlicensed “vampire facials” to dozens of unwitting clients during illicit parties — which left some patients with painful side effects or requiring medical attention, police said.
Maria Sabata Gutierrez, 49, was busted on Nov. 18 as officers executed a search warrant at her home, according to an arrest report obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Gutierrez admitted to detectives to administering the treatment designed to re-inject platelet-rich plasma into the skin to activate collagen cells.
“She also disclosed selling medications she purchases from Mexico to patients,” an arrest report states. “She is currently unemployed and does these medical procedures on the side.”
Gutierrez, who is identified in the arrest report as Maria DeJesus Gutierrez, told detectives she had been doing the procedures for the past year on roughly 50-60 patients for about $100 a pop, police said.
An investigation was launched by detectives after a woman showed up at a Las Vegas hospital in late September with “swelling and pain” on her face and bumps in her mouth, police said.
The woman told investigators she got the trendy skin procedure after a recommendation from a friend who attended one of Gutierrez’s “vampire facial parties” — illicit get-togethers that took place every other week since as March or April, police said.
After Gutierrez took blood from the customer’s arms, it was then “placed into a machine” that separated it before being re-injected into her face, the woman told police.
The treatment at a licensed medical facility typically costs about $1,000, investigators said.
“In addition to the vampire facials, [the customer] was also getting a similar procedure with her blood being reinjected into her buttocks,” the arrest report states. “This procedure has [been] happening weekly and cost $100.”
While holding the parties, Gutierrez always wore medical scrubs and a backpack containing a blood centrifuge and other supplies. She told a witness she previously worked for a medical office and did the procedures regularly, but lost her license, police said.
Gutierrez also told a doctor who contacted her after one of her patients went to a hospital that she got her equipment online from Mexico, police said.
She then told the doctor she had been “operating out of her trunk,” according to the report.
The doctor told Gutierrez to stop performing vampire facials and got in touch with police, prompting undercover detectives to later set up a meeting with her and arranged to get the procedure for $212, police said.
Gutierrez, who is facing charges including furnishing a dangerous drug without a prescription and acting as a medical practitioner without a license, has a preliminary hearing set for March. Her attorney could not be reached for comment Tuesday, the newspaper reported.Arrests Fraud New Trends Patient Harm Rx Fraud Unlicensed Activity