Doctor and Wife Sentenced in Botox Fraud Case

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Las Vegas, NV—A physician and his wife have been convicted of treating patients with fake Botox, and have been sentenced to serve time in federal prison.

Stephen Lee Seldon, 54, and his wife, Deborah Martinez seldon, 41, were convicted in November 2008 on 14 counts of mail fraud and one count of adulterating a drug while held for sale.

The Seldons advertised Botox injections, used to combat wrinkles and excessive perspiration, in local magazines, but actually treated patients with a cheaper Botox alternative.

Allergan, Inc., is the only FDA approved manufacturer of Botox, which is the brand name of a drug derived from the toxin Botulinum neurotoxin Type A. The toxin, which is legally classified as both a drug and a biological product, may not be distributed for use on humans without approval by the FDA.

The Seldons, however, used a drug called Tritox, manufactured by Toxin Research International, Inc., which was labeled only for research purposes and not for human use.

Several patients in Florida contracted botulism after receiving research-grade Botulinum toxin, which was later linked to TRI. Search warrants served at the Tucson office of TRI led investigators to the Seldons, who then falsified documents and lied to their patients in order to conceal the fraudulent use of Tritox.

The Seldons, who were able to charge much less for the Botox alternative and still make a profit, had their patients sign consent forms, which stated that the patients would receive the federally approved Allergan product.

Investigators say that the couple perpetrated this fraud from October 2003 to September 2005.

Stephen Seldon’s license to practice medicine was suspended last December by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners. Seldon was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson to 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Deborah Seldon received 30 months in prison and three years of probation. The couple must also pay a $144,000 fine.

The Seldons have been ordered to self-report to federal prison by June 26th.

 

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