A woman was arrested in a downtown Los Angeles hotel last month after allegedly offering to administer counterfeit Botox to undercover officers, officials announced Wednesday.
Vivian Espinoza was taken into custody on Jan. 23 near the 400 block of South Figueroa Street, where the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites is located. She was arrested on suspicion of furnishing prescription drugs without a license and of practice of medicine without a license, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.
Espinoza set up a mobile makeshift medical office inside a hotel room and offered to inject undercover detectives with counterfeit Botox and Juvaderm.
Detectives found and confiscated PDO thread, needles, syringes and other materials that are only allowed to be possessed by licensed medical professionals.
Samples of 281 seized items were sent to a lab for testing and were deemed counterfeit by the manufacturer, in violation of recorded and registered trademarks, according to police.
The purchase of counterfeit cosmetic products may be hazardous, and in many instances, can cause serious adverse reactions such as infections, facial paralysis, tissue death and blindness, the LAPD reminded residents. Manufacturers of counterfeit products do not always meet safety testing standards.
“In order to prevent the risk of buying counterfeit, only buy from authorized medical providers or directly from the manufacturers, do your due diligence when researching the names and places of your suppliers,” the department said in the news release.
Anyone with information regarding counterfeit crimes or about this incident, including anyone who has been sold medical services by Vivian Espinoza, is asked to contact detectives at 213-486-6940. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-527-3247. To remain anonymous, call the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org.