Bay Area/ San Jose/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 25, 2023
San Jose Couple Busted for Illegal Botox Operation, Weeks After Tragic Kim Kardashian Lookalike DeathSource: Instagram / ashtens_empire

In a shocking turn of events, a San Jose couple has been accused of operating an illegal botox business out of their home, with Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Ann Huntley emphasizing the high risks of unlicensed medical procedures, according to NBC Bay Area. The charges come just weeks after the tragic death of Christina Ashten Gourkani, a 34-year-old social media influencer and Kim Kardashian lookalike, who suffered a heart attack after receiving unregulated buttock injections, as reported by Hoodline.

Monica Canales, 45, and James Carey, 48, the accused San Jose couple, are facing multiple felony charges for practicing medicine without a license, as they allegedly charged customers hundreds of dollars for botox injections and lip fillers. Canales vehemently denies the accusations, claiming a doctor has a vendetta against her, and insists that her home was not an illegal med spa.

Prosecutors argue, however, that customers were led to believe the couple's business was legitimate, with no knowledge of the risks involved in receiving treatments from unlicensed practitioners, according to KRON4. Huntley warns that unqualified individuals may not know how to safely administer injections and have a lack of understanding of human anatomy, which can lead to disastrous consequences, such as substances traveling to the brain or heart and causing death.

The case was brought to light when a suspicious patient, who had been repeatedly given the runaround when asking for licensing information, discovered there was no license to be had, and a dentist reported that someone tried to order botox using her electronic signature - that person happened to be James Carey, as mentioned in the KRON4 report.

This incident raises serious concerns about the underground industry for botox and other beauty treatments. Huntley insists that anyone seeking such services ensures their provider is qualified and licensed, as unlicensed practitioners pose significant risks to one's health and well-being.

The case coincides with the recent tragedy of Gourkani's death, which has been a stark reminder of the dangers associated with unlicensed medical procedures. Gourkani, known for her striking resemblance to Kim Kardashian, died following buttock injections from Vivian Gomez, a 50-year-old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who was neither qualified nor licensed to perform the procedure. Gomez is currently being extradited to San Mateo County to face charges of involuntary manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license resulting in great bodily injury.

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These recent incidents in the Bay Area underscore the need for vigilance when seeking cosmetic treatments and the importance of ensuring the chosen practitioner has the necessary qualifications and licensing. Deputy District Attorney Ann Huntley emphasizes the potential lethality of such procedures when carried out by unlicensed individuals, stating that "this isn't like going to the hairdresser and getting a new haircut or new manicure," and should be treated with the seriousness a medical procedure merits.