Feds say woman injected salon customers with counterfeit cosmetics
September 1, 2009
By Warren Kagarise
The proprietor of a Bellevue salon was arrested late Aug. 24, after federal authorities said she illegally injected customers with counterfeit cosmetic products.The proprietor, Issaquah resident Xin “Faith” He, 46, illegally injected customers with counterfeit Botox, a prescription wrinkle remover, and prescription cosmetic filler Restylane, authorities said in a three-count indictment unsealed Aug. 25. He could face up to the three years behind bars.
Authorities said He had been injecting patients with the substances since November 2004. Customers paid for misbranded drugs, the indictment states.
In April, agents searched the Bellevue salon, Natural Beauty, where they discovered vials labeled with Chinese characters. There are no similar products manufactured in China that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Agents also discovered receipts and other documents indicating He had imported the drugs from China, the indictment states.
He, a licensed esthetician and manicurist, was not authorized to prescribe or administer Botox and Restylane.
He first came to the attention of authorities when she worked at another Bellevue salon four years ago.
A woman told authorities she visited Salon Domani, the salon where He worked in March 2005. The customer was injected with what she believed was Botox. She told authorities the drug was in a vial marked with Chinese characters.
The incident was reported to the state Department of Health and officials launched an investigation of He, the indictment states.
He was later fired from Salon Domani after performing unlicensed medical procedures, the indictment states.
After the Salon Domani customer alerted authorities, an undercover health department investigator contacted He to schedule wrinkle treatment. He told the investigator to come to her Issaquah home for the appointment, according to court documents.
He examined the investigator and recommended Botox, the indictment states. He removed a vial from a refrigerator in the kitchen and told the investigator she would inject the drug into her face, the indictment states. Just as He moved to inject the Botox, the investigator identified herself and said the health department had received a complaint about He performing unlicensed medical procedures.
He provided the investigator with a written statement, and the investigator seized several vials of drugs.
In July 2006, health department officials sent a cease-and-desist order to He asking her to stop performing medical procedures. But she continued to administer the cosmetic treatments, according to the indictment.
In April 2008, He injected another woman with counterfeit Restylane at the Natural Beauty salon, the indictment states. He had told the woman she was “ugly” and needed cosmetic procedures to improve her appearance, according to court documents.
When the customer asked if He was licensed to perform the procedure, He told the customer she was licensed and that she previously was a nurse in China, according to court documents. He told the woman she had been performing the procedures for 15-16 years, the indictment states.
He then injected the woman with a substance she identified as Restylane into the customer’s cheeks, forehead, chin and near her nose, according to court documents. He charged the customer about $7,700 for the procedure.
Following the injection, the woman suffered inflammation and scarring; she sought medical treatment from a Mountlake Terrace plastic surgeon. The woman eventually had plastic surgery to have the counterfeit substance removed, according to the indictment.
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.