A Massachusetts woman was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Boston for performing illegal silicone injections in exchange for money.
Gladys Araceli Ceron, 73, declined to make any comment as she left the courthouse after a judge ordered her to serve two years in prison and two years of supervised release.
Charged in May 2019, Ceron pleaded guilty earlier this year to five counts of delivery for pay of an adulterated or misbranded medical device received in interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead.
Prosecutors accused Ceron of injecting patients with silicone oil from approximately 2004 to 2019, and promising countless women that she could improve their appearance by filling in wrinkles, lip injections, and augmenting their buttocks. But some of her victims say they’ve suffered with all sorts of problems ever since, including blood clots, burning pain, infections and vision loss.
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In court Wednesday, two victims told the judge about all the health issues and deformities they’ve endured.
"For 15 years, Ms. Ceron chose to make money by injecting her cosmetics customers with toxic silicone – all the while knowing that by doing so she was exposing them to serious harm, disfiguration and potentially death,” Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell said in a statement. “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of the public, and the sentence imposed by the court shows that people who callously put people at great risk of harm will be punished.”
Ceron apologized for her actions, admitting she was reckless and saying she is ashamed of herself.
“Never in my life have I ever tried to harm anyone.” Ceron told the court. “I have hurt people.”
Investigators say Ceron performed the illegal and toxic procedures in an attic in Lawrence and lied about her credentials.
Ceron said she should have known better since she attended medical school abroad. She did not have a license to practice in the United States.
“Injecting silicone oil not approved for human use can result in serious bodily injury or death,” Jeffrey J. Ebersole, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office, said in a statement. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who offer this dangerous product to the public.”
According to court documents, the government estimates that hundreds or thousands of individuals may be victims of the illegal injections she performed.
Ceron was allowed to leave court Wednesday afternoon after her sentencing hearing, but she will have to surrender most likely in the next six weeks to start serving her prison sentence.