Man Acting as Fake Doctor in the Mission Arrested and Facing Felony Charges

December 23, 2011

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, (415) 553-1167 or (415) 740-5134
Omid Talai, (415) 553-9272

Defendant Charged with Performing Liposuction and Other Medical Procedures

San Francisco – District Attorney George Gascón announced today the arrest of Carlos Guzmangarza, age 49, of San Francisco for practicing medicine without a license. Guzmangarza, who has no medical license, faces felony charges for stealing the identity of a physician’s assistant and performing invasive medical procedures on two victims without a license.

“The defendant put lives at risk by performing medical procedures he was not licensed or qualified to perform,” said District Attorney Gascón. “Impersonating a medical professional is a serious crime. My office will hold people accountable for endangering the lives of innocent people.”

According to court documents, the defendant, Carlos Guzmangarza, operated a dermatology clinic on Mission Street in San Francisco called the Derma Clinic. He assumed the identity of a physician’s assistant with a similar name as the defendant’s and claimed that his clinic is operated by himself and a doctor. Neither the real doctor, who practices in the Bay Area, nor the real physician’s assistant is affiliated with the defendant’s illegal clinic.

According to court documents, in early 2010, one of the victims was searching for a doctor to perform liposuction on her abdomen and an eye lift. After receiving quotes from doctors in the area, she was referred to the defendant who agreed to perform the procedure for $3,000, a fee much lower than the other quotes she received. The defendant picked up the victim at her house and drove her to his office for surgery, had her hold the IV bag for him during the procedure, and smoked a cigar while he performed surgery. A few days after the surgery, the defendant showed up at the victim’s house with what he said was six pounds of fat that was removed from her liposuction and dumped it down her toilet. The defendant also treated the victim’s daughter for acne with a series of injections on her face.

Also according to court documents, the victim’s abdomen became infected and she was forced to see another doctor for follow up treatment. It was at that time that she first learned that the defendant was not a real doctor. The victim eventually had to undergo corrective surgery.

“This is a very serious matter and we take it very seriously. We’re very glad to be able to shut this person down,” said Dan Wood, spokesperson for the Medical Board of California.

The defendant is charged with four felony counts of violating Business and Professions Code section 2052(a) (practicing medicine without a license).

The defendant is also charged with three felony counts of violating Penal Code section 245(a)(1) (assault with force likely to cause great bodily harm) and one count of violating Penal Code section 243(d) (battery causing serious bodily harm), for the various procedures that he allegedly performed on the two victims, all under the pretense that he was a licensed professional.

The defendant is also charged with one felony count of violating Penal Code section 529 (false impersonation) for allegedly transacting with the victims in the assumed character of Carlos Guzman, one felony count of violating Penal Code section 530.5 (identity theft), for allegedly using Guzman’s personal information, and one felony count of violating Penal Code section 487(a) (grand theft), for allegedly taking the victim’s money under false pretenses.

Guzmangarza was arrested on December 22 and expected to be arraigned on December 23, 1:30pm. The duty judge set bail at $750,000 and the defendant faces 12 years state prison. Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron is the Prosecutor.

If anyone was treated by Carlos Guzmangarza, also known as Carlos Guzman, at the Derma Clinic, located at the 2500 block of Mission Street, San Francisco, please contact investigator Douglas Becker of the Medical Board of California at (408) 437-3680, or Lt. Carlos Sanchez of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office at (415) 551-9500.




George Gascon, District Attorney George Gascon, San Francisco District Attorney