Man Posing As Fake Doctor Convicted Of 33 Felonies For Fraudulent Procedures And Sexually Assaulting Patients
News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón
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CONTACT: Alex Bastian (415) 553-1931
Maxwell Szabo (415) 553-9089
MAN POSING AS FAKE DOCTOR CONVICTED OF 33 FELONIES FOR FRAUDULENT PROCEDURES AND SEXUALLY ASSAULTING PATIENTS
SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney George Gascón announced today that a jury found Carlos Guzmangarza, age 53 of San Francisco, guilty of 33 felonies, two of which are strikes under California law, and 8 misdemeanors. The charges range from practicing medicine without a license to sexually assaulting his patients, identity theft, grand theft, assault with force causing great bodily injury, and false impersonation. Guzmangarza was originally charged with four felony counts of practicing medicine without a license. As more victims came forward, including two women who had been sexually assaulted during the fraudulent medical procedures, additional charges were added. In total, 51 charges were submitted to the jury. 10 victims testified, including the 9 women upon which he operated and the physician’s assistant whom he impersonated. He faces 36 years in state prison.
“We put enormous trust in our doctors,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “Impersonating a physician in order to gain that trust, illegally perform invasive procedures, and then take advantage of these vulnerable patients is a perversion of this noble profession.”
According to court records, Guzmangarza operated a dermatology clinic on Mission Street in San Francisco called the Derma Clinic. Guzmangarza would tell his patients that he was a plastic surgeon but assumed the identity of a physician’s assistant with a similar name and claimed that his clinic was operated by himself and a doctor. Neither the real doctor, who practiced in the Bay Area, nor the real physician’s assistant was 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 fraudulent liposuction procedure, and dumped it down her toilet. The defendant also treated the victim’s daughter for acne with a series of injections to her face. Soon thereafter 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.
Guzmangarza provided pills to another victim who was in her 20s at the time. The pills incapacitated her, and Guzmangarza proceeded to sexually assault her. Yet another young woman in her 20s came to him for skin treatment, and he sexually assaulted her during three subsequent procedures. Guzmangarza would tell the victim that the sexual assault was a necessary part of the procedure.
“This is an individual whose lies and deceit caught up with him,” said ADA Evan Ackiron. “There are many survivors of this man’s grotesque crimes, and this verdict would not have been possible without their bravery.”
Guzmangarza has been in-custody since his arrest on December 22, 2011. The Honorable Michael Begert presided. A date for sentencing will be set this afternoon. This successful prosecution would not have been possible without the assistance of Douglas Becker of the California Medical Board, District Attorney Investigator Lt. Carlos Sanchez, and Victim Advocate Patricia Barragan. Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron prosecuted the case.