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A New Mexico woman who offered patrons “vampire facials” at her salon was indicted this week on 24 felony counts after two of her clients contracted HIV.
The New Mexico Attorney General's Office charged Maria Ramos de Ruiz, 59, with practicing medicine without a license, racketeering, fraud, money laundering, tax evasion and other related charges on Monday, according to a press release.
The charges stem from 2019 revelations that two clients contracted HIV after visiting the VIP Beauty Salon and Spa. They received so-called “Vampire facials” which involve Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy; typically the client will get plasma injected into their face to help heal an injury or rejuvenate their skin. It’s sometimes used as an anti-aging procedure.
After the first client contracted HIV in 2018, investigators found that Ramos de Ruiz's cosmetology license had expired in 2103. She had fraudulent certificates for both Botox and “vampire facial” and the salon, which they ordered her to shut down, was unsanitary and unsafe, with unwrapped needles and unlabeled blood tubes the Albuquerque Journal reports.
Attorney General Balderas has advised the public that anyone who has received a “vampire facial” or PRP therapy should contact their office if they worry that they were exposed to a communicable disease or received treatment from an unlicensed practitioner.
The attorney general’s office believes that 137 clients received fraudulent services from Ramos de Ruiz; those clients are undergoing testing for HIV and hepatitis, according to an affidavit obtained by the Journal.
“Individuals who jeopardize the health and safety of New Mexican families must be held accountable,” Balderas said in a Wednesday statement. “We look forward to presenting this case at trial.”
It’s not clear if Ramos de Ruiz has a lawyer.
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