(SAN FRANCISCO) — The story sounds almost too bizarre to be believed. A man posing as a physician’s assistant performs a cut-rate liposuction on a woman who is awake but anesthetized. He asks her to hold her IV bag while he works, all the while smoking a cigar. A few days later, he shows up at her house with six pounds of her fat and, telling her he needs to dispose of it, flushes it down her toilet.
As first reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, this account was what city prosecutors allege happened to an as yet unidentified woman and led to the Thursday arrest of Carlos Guzmangarza, 49, on a litany of charges.
Messages left Monday with the San Francisco district attorney’s office and the Medical Board of California were not immediately returned, though yesterday was a federal holiday. But according to the story in the Chronicle, prosecutors allege that Guzmangarza stole the identities of a physician and a physician’s assistant, which he used to operate a bogus clinic. Prosecutors said he charged only $3,000, and that he also gave the patient’s daughter a series of injections he said would help treat her acne.
According to the story, prosecutors said it was only when the woman who received the liposuction experienced an infection in her abdomen that she saw a real doctor and learned that she had been swindled.
The Chronicle reports that Guzmangarza’s bail is set at $750,000, and he faces up to 12 years in state prison if convicted of the charges against him.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
David Shortell, CNN
David Goldman, CNN