Unlicensed injections recorded at undercover Botox party sting: Doctors college

B.C.’s College of Physicians and Surgeons claims an undercover sting at a Botox party has yielded evidence of unlicensed injections administered by a woman who has been a repeated target of the regulator.

According to a release Wednesday, a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted the college an order to search Maria Ezzati’s property last month after private investigators obtained video evidence of the Vancouver woman injecting three people at a “Botox and filler party.”

The college will appear in court later in March to report on the items seized during the search.

The college says it also plans to make a fresh application to have Ezzati held in contempt of an earlier injunction preventing her from referring to herself as a doctor or practising medicine without a licence by giving Botox injections.

“Receiving an injection of a prescription drug from an unlicensed practitioner is risky and has the potential for complications, including reaction to agents, infections, or greater harm due to human error,” college registrar Dr. Heidi Oetter said in a statement.

“There is not assurance that the practitioner is competent or qualified to provide treatment.”

Injunction granted

According to court documents, the college first set its sights on Ezzati in 2017 after receiving a tip she was giving Botox injections at her office in downtown Vancouver.

Ezzati received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Victoria and obtained a bachelor of medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in November 2016.

A before and after image taken from Maria Ezzati’s website in a screenshot from 2018. The website has since been taken down. (www.staybeautiful.info)

She is qualified as a physician in Ireland and claimed she was taking steps to qualify in B.C. after returning to Vancouver in 2017.

Ezzati has two certificates from the B.C. Academy of Medical Aesthetics and Skin Care in Botox administration, but under B.C. regulations, only a licensed pharmacist can sell Botox and only college registrants can administer it.

The college obtained an injunction against Ezzati after she was found to have injected a customer’s lips with dermal fillers for $359.10.

She claimed she was under the impression she was qualified to practise or provide cosmetic services.

In 2018, the case landed in B.C. Supreme Court again when the college claimed Ezzati had set up shop at a storefront operation called CH Beauty Care in Richmond.

The college mounted an investigation alleging Ezzati had performed 44 Botox procedures on 38 individuals over a four-month period, amounting to fees of $22,000.

‘She was not paid to do injections’

But while the college succeeded in having Ezzati found in contempt for referring to herself as “doctor” and advertising medical procedure, the regulator failed in its bid to prove she had been administering injections herself.

Ezzati successfully argued that the college’s circumstantial evidence didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she had administered the injections herself.

“Ms. Ezzati describes herself as a referral agent for CH Beauty Care,” the court decision found.

“Her role was to refer clients, to book appointments, to provide consultation, and to administer consent forms as a medical office assistant. She says she was not paid to do injections.”

In February, the college went back to court after sending undercover investigators to a Botox filler party that was allegedly discovered through social media accounts.

They claim to have caught Ezzati on video injecting three different people with Botox for cash.

Ezzati told the CBC that she couldn’t speak about any of the college’s allegations because the court file is under a sealing order.

She said she was waiting for instruction from her lawyer with regards to what she could and could not talk about.

Ezzati said she was unaware of the fact that the college had put out a news release about the case.

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