BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Bradenton police say 61-year-old Diane D’Anca has been giving patients Botox treatments from her home without a license.
The Florida Department of Health got a tip in November that D’Anca was running the operation from her house on 63rd Street W in Bradenton.
When police later investigated, they found a back bedroom that was converted into a medical office. There were a lot of large, expensive pieces of medical equipment and a large amount of a substance purported to be “Botox.”
Officials determined the Botox was counterfeit, non-FDA regulated and imported from Canada.
Officers also found records for approximately 100 patients and injection records dating back to 2011. They believe there are many more victims out there.
“These people assumed she was licensed. So we want to stress to you that if you received treatment from her, you are a victim. You did nothing wrong, she implied that she was licensed to do this,” said Bradenton Police Lt. Brian Thiers.
Officers also found a Skin Science Machine in her bedroom and learned she used the machine to perform microabrasion procedures.
D’Anca told officials that when a patient came to her for a Botox procedure, they never saw a licensed doctor for a consult before the procedure was performed.
She claimed she operated under the permission of Dr. Tom, but she was unable to provide any further information on Dr. Tom.
She does not hold a license in the state of Florida.
Police say one victim paid $36,000 over the course of several years.
“Throughout the course of the interviews with her, she was very confident that she had done nothing wrong,” said Lt. Thiers.
Neighbor Becky Wittenmyer was shocked when she learned what was going on across the street.
“I find it hard to believe because we just never saw that amount of traffic,” said Wittenmyer.
Medical experts condemn these home procedures. Officials say home Botox treatments could cause physical pain, disfigurement, and in some cases, death.
Dr. Daniel Diaco says the product is easily accessible online.
“A lot of it comes from China. It’s not real Botox, it’s a counterfeit. It’s ineffective and we don’t even know what impurities may be in there.”
Dr. Diaco says one of the biggest risks of Botox is a potential overdose.
“If you get too much Botox because it’s the wrong concentration, it can actually cause paralysis, to the point where you may need to be on a ventilator.”
The doctor suggests before you let someone inject you with a needle in your face, do your research.
“If you don’t get Botox by a certified physician, you really have no re-course if there’s a problem.”
Bradenton police officers want her patients to come forward. Officers stress that these clients are not in trouble.
“You are a victim, I can’t stress that enough. You were misled, you were led to believe that this woman had the ability and the training to do this and she did not,” said Lt. Thiers.
D’Anca has been charged with practicing medicine without a license, practicing cosmetology without a license and possession of a controlled substance.
If you have any information on this case, call Bradenton police.
The Florida Department of Health has an Unlicensed Activity Unit to handle these sorts of cases. If you see any sort of illegal activity like this, call 1-877-HALT-ULA.