New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office announced the arrests of unlicensed plastic surgeon Brad Jacobs and physician Nicholas Sewell on charges they engaged in a four-year scheme to illegally perform plastic surgeries on over 60 patients, including causing permanent disfigurement to one patient.
Jacobs was licensed to practice medicine in 1988 and practiced until June 18, 2007, when the New York State Department of Health invoked its emergency powers to suspend his license and shut down his practice. Jacobs was then formally charged with 29 specifications of Professional Medical Misconduct, including gross negligence, incompetence, and moral unfitness related to his performance of surgeries including breast augmentation, tummy tucks, liposuction, and rhinoplasty.
In order to conceal their illegal activity, the defendants allegedly directed patients to pay either in cash or to write checks payable to a relative of Sewell’s. Checks were then deposited into an account under the relative’s name, although it was completely controlled by Sewell. Sewell then allegedly transferred money from that account to an account under one of Jacobs’ relatives’ names – which was likewise completely controlled by Jacobs. It is alleged that, from the nine witnesses specified in the indictment alone, nearly $50,000 was transferred between the two accounts in an effort to conceal the proceeds of their crimes.
“It is unconscionable that an unlicensed surgeon would take advantage of unsuspecting patients like this,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Practicing medicine without a license jeopardizes the lives of New Yorkers, undermines our health care system, and diminishes the work of licensed doctors committed to their patients’ safety and health.”
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
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