Botox party sting: Doctors college says unlicensed practice discovered in undercover operation
VANCOUVER -- B.C.'s College of Physicians and Surgeons says an undercover investigation has revealed unlawful practice of medicine at a Botox party at a home in Vancouver.
The college has a long history of looking into the conduct of Maria Ezzati, dating back to 2017. As the college understands, Ezzati has a medical degree, but has never applied to be registered and licensed in B.C. or any other jurisdiction in Canada. By law, she is not authorized to practice medicine in B.C.
“The college was made aware of certain conduct in the June/July period of 2017 and we had the most recent indication of involvement in Botox parties in January/February of 2020," the college’s external legal counsel Brent Olthuis told media on Wednesday.
In July 2017, a court order was taken out to prohibit Ezzati from providing services and from using the title of doctor. The case was eventually elevated to B.C. Supreme Court, where she was found in contempt of court for advertising and referring to herself as a doctor. However, there was only circumstantial evidence that she continued to give Botox injections and dermal fillers.
In February of this year, the college hired private investigators to look into whether Ezzati was still practising.
“There were advertisements on social media for these Botox parties,” Olthuis said.
The college said an investigator took a hidden camera to one of the parties and recorded Ezzati allegedly injecting three individuals and being paid in cash.
“The public really is at risk for receiving care from people who aren’t licensed,” college registrar Dr. Heidi Oetter said. “It can range from incompetence through being injected with products that are not legitimate.”
The case is now before the courts, but punishment can range from civil contempt to fines and even jail time.
One of Ezzati’s clients, Natasha Bomm, said she’s been getting lip fillers from Ezzati every few months for about three years.
“I’ve had nothing but amazing experiences with her. I’ve gone to so many other doctors over the years and once I found her I never went anywhere else,” Bomm told CTV News in a phone interview. “I was a little stunned, she’s been such a lovely doctor, I’ve sent all of my girlfriends to her to get work done, even my own mom. So it’s a little surprising.”
Ezzati told CTV News she can’t comment given the court file was under a sealing order. She said she spoke with the college Tuesday and wasn’t told the information would be given to the media.
She said she’s waiting to speak with her lawyer.