New York, NY - May 8, 2014 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the felony conviction of Dr. Marlon Castillo, a licensed physician in New York and Connecticut, for allowing two unlicensed individuals to perform plastic surgery on unsuspecting patients. Castillo aided and abetted Carlos Arango and William Ordonez, who are not licensed medical doctors, to perform cosmetic surgeries on women without general anesthesia, leaving them permanently disfigured as a result.
"Practicing medicine without a license is a very serious crime in New York, and we will prosecute anyone who preys on vulnerable communities to make a quick buck,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Dr. Castillo has now admitted to allowing two fake doctors to perform complex medical procedures, putting his own greed ahead of the health and safety of his so-called patients."
"The Board of Regents and I are committed to protecting all New Yorkers from the illegal practice of medicine,” said John B. King Jr., New York State Education Commissioner. “We applaud the Attorney General for vigorously prosecuting these horrendous criminals who preyed on the poor and vulnerable.”
Today, before the Honorable Judge Barry Kron in Queens County Supreme Court, Castillo pleaded guilty to one count of Unlicensed Practice of a Profession (a Class "E" felony). As part of his guilty plea, Castillo admitted that from approximately February 2011 to September 2011, he aided and abetted co-defendants Ordonez and Arango, individuals who he knew were unlicensed to practice medicine, to diagnose, treat, operate, and perform liposuction on two women.
Castillo will be sentenced on June 27th to five year’s probation, and must pay $8,700 in restitution to his victims.
Co-defendant Carlos Arango previously pleaded guilty in September 2012 to one count of Unlicensed Practice of a Profession and was sentenced to six months in prison, five year’s probation, and $8,700 restitution. Arango admitted that he, together with co-defendant Ordonez, held themselves out as doctors and recruited women from Bellisima Full Service Spa, located at 51-03 108th Street in Corona, Queens. Arango further admitted that after recruiting these women, he practiced medicine without a license by performing liposuction and other invasive procedures on them with Castillo's knowledge and at Castillo’s office, OnShape Medical Spa, located at 60 Strawberry Hill Avenue in Stamford, Connecticut.
William Ordonez, the third individual charged in the scheme, remains at large. The charges against this defendant are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
In an ongoing effort to protect and educate New Yorkers, Attorney General Schneiderman reminded the public of the following tips to avoid becoming victims:
- Physicians and Physicians Assistants must be licensed in the State of New York by the New York State Department of Education. If possible, before visiting one of these professionals, confirm on the NYS Office of the Professions - State Education Department website that he or she has a proper license;
- If you are receiving medical treatment out of state, contact that state's licensing authority to confirm that the medical professional is in fact licensed to practice that area of medicine;
- If you feel you have been a victim of this type of crime or if you have additional information regarding this matter, please contact the Attorney General’s office at (212) 416-8356. Spanish-speaking personnel will be available for individuals who do not speak English.
The Attorney General thanks the New York State Department of Education, the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health, and the Stamford, Connecticut Police Department for their assistance.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Gabriel Tapalaga of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Gary Fishman and Deputy Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is part of the Criminal Justice Division, led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan. The case was investigated by OAG Investigator Sylvia Rivera and Supervising Investigator Michael Ward.