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Jury convicts Flushing woman over beauty scam

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A Flushing beautician was convicted of assault charges last Thursday after performing cosmetic surgery without a license and disfiguring the faces of two patients whom she improperly treated, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The DA said Patricia Villegas, 54, of 43−40 147th St., was found guilty of second−degree assault, unauthorized practice of a profession, scheme to defraud, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon for causing severe, permanent physical damage to two of her patients in 2002 and 2003.

“The defendant caused great bodily harm to two women by performing medical procedures without a license. She offered the false promise of being able to provide the victims with a more beautiful, youthful appearance,” Brown said. “Instead her actions caused both of her victims to suffer permanent scarring — both physically and emotionally — and to undergo multiple facial surgeries.”

Brown said Villegas faces up to 14 years in prison.

Villegas is the president of Altiva New York Spa, Temple of Beauty and Renewal, which she runs out of her residence, the DA said. The spa formerly did business as Altiva Medical Spa at 1540 York Ave. in Manhattan, according to Brown.

He said Villegas told the two women — then 26 and 29 — on separate occasions that she could address various facial imperfections by administering facial injections at a cost of more than $1,000. Between November 2002 and December 2003, Villegas injected the two women’s faces with substances typically used in cosmetic surgery, such as collagen and cortisone, Brown said.

After receiving the treatments, Brown said both women began experiencing substantial pain and physical injuries, including infections, swelling, distortions on their faces and lips and, in the case of the 29−year−old woman, burning and the loss of lip function.

Brown said both women have undergone multiple facial surgeries and have permanent scarring as well as hard lumps that remain under their skin. Substances removed from the victim’s faces were, according to Brown, consistent with silicone, which can be dangerous when injected into the face.

Following the conviction, Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter immediately revoked Villegas’ bail and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 7.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at Sstrling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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