MIAMI – One man pleaded guilty to bank fraud. One was convicted of grand theft in a real estate scam. Two others admitted to elaborate Medicare schemes that siphoned millions from taxpayers.
In Florida, one of the nation’s top destinations for plastic surgery, a felony conviction can bar someone from operating a massage parlor or a pawn shop.
But not from running a cosmetic surgery clinic.
Nearly a dozen miles from the iconic beaches of South Florida, the four convicted felons ran facilities that became assembly lines for patients from across the country seeking the latest body sculpting procedures at discount prices.
And at those businesses, at least 13 women have died after surgeries. Nearly a dozen others were hospitalized with critical injuries, including punctured internal organs.
The state health department was alerted to the casualties. Government inspectors cited the clinics for serious violations, including dirty operating rooms and sales