Testimony Starts in Alleged Fake Doctor Case

Photo courtesy of SFDA.

En Español.

The preliminary hearing for Carlos Guzmangarza, who is accused of impersonating a surgeon, began Wednesday with testimony from the district attorney’s office regarding allegations that Guzmangarza took cash payments for lip injections.

The 49-year-old Guzmangarza is charged with running a business called Derma Clinic on Mission Street in 2010, where he allegedly posed as a physician’s assistant named Carlos Guzman who was qualified to perform plastic surgery. He is now in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.

He is charged with 17 felonies, including practicing medicine without a license, identity theft, assault, rape, sexual penetration by an unknown object against the victim’s will and unlawful oral copulation. Nine alleged victims are currently connected with the case.

Lt. Carlos Sanchez of the San Francisco district attorney’s office testified on Wednesday that one of the alleged victims called him after she saw that Guzmangarza had been arrested and investigators were looking for victims.

Sanchez said that the alleged victim, Eugenia Carreno, told him that she went to Guzmangarza for a facelift after hearing of him from a mutual friend. Carreno said that Guzmangarza told her he was a plastic surgeon with a degree from Mexico.

Carreno told Sanchez that after a procedure in which Guzmangarza allegedly punctured her forehead with an instrument and threaded a string from her brow line to the top of her forehead, she decided against the facelift and opted for Botox injections instead.

Guzmangarza allegedly performed five procedures on Carreno, including injecting filler into areas around her lips, Sanchez said. Carreno estimated that she paid $2,800 to $3,000 in cash for the procedures, he said.

“She described the procedure as very painful,” Sanchez said of Carreno’s first appointment with Guzmangarza. Carreno also alleged that Guzmangarza gave her two Vicodin from a prescription bottle with someone else’s name on the label, Sanchez said.

Under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron, who is prosecuting the case, Sanchez testified that Carreno said she stopped going to Guzmangarza because she felt uncomfortable being alone with him.

Michelle Tong, Guzmangarza’s public defender, questioned Carreno’s credibility because there were no receipts of the alleged transactions between Guzmangarza and Carreno.

The preliminary hearing, with the Hon. Loretta M. Giorgi presiding, will continue on Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m. in Department 26 at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant St.

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  1. These illegal procedures and fraudulent people impersonating medical professionals is becoming rampant is the United States it seems. I am extremely disturbed by this. Throw the book at him I say! I am beginning to think there should be a mental disorder that includes these behaviors. To potential patients: Please do not look to save money on cosmetic procedures! Do not risk your life! Please research the doctor and the facility the procedures are to be performed at!

    Dr Rhys Branman

  2. unknown

    yes what this so called doctor did was wrong but the clients should have known that something was wrong. trying to be cheap they went to his office. 3rd floor of the building are apartments 2 floor are all type of business. the building is dirty and not the place to have a procedure done. everyones should know that.
    i always ask my husband why doesnt this doctor have a website? but he said i ws crazy that i thought i knew everything.

    • Well, I don’t like blaming the patient/customer. They may or may not know how to research or what should be proper. I have not seen the building, but still, it is outrageous to pose as a doctor and prey on people like this.

      Dr Rhys Branman

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