One of South Florida’s most notorious plastic surgeons — linked to a string of high-profile botched surgeries and two patient deaths over the years — pleaded not guilty Friday to allegations he mangled a man’s penis during an illegal cosmetic surgery in Hialeah.
A Miami-Dade judge also ordered that Mark Schreiber must post a $250,000 bond and remain on house arrest while he awaits trial for what a prosecutor called the “butchery of a human being.”
“He has no business practicing medicine and touching another human being,” prosecutor Warren Eth said. “This man epitomizes the danger to the community. He is a flight risk.”
Schreiber, 61, is facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted. It wouldn’t be his first time: Schreiber earlier served two years in prison for the same charge: practicing medicine without a license.
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Schreiber has a well-chronicled history of trouble in the medical profession.
Back in June 1998, Florida’s health department placed Schreiber on probation after he performed a botched penis enlargement and face lift that killed a 51-year-old patient.
Four years later, Schreiber came under scrutiny from the health department after 73-year-old developer Ralph DiGiovanni died of a heart attack two days after he had a neck lift at the surgeon’s office. The outcome of that investigation was unclear Friday.
But his practice imploded in 2005, when multiple patients came forward to complain about his work. His license was suspended that year after a woman complained he touched her inappropriately during a surgery. But he continued to practice medicine afterward, until he was forced to give up his license one year later.
Schreiber was eventually arrested and agreed to serve two years in prison for illegally operating on four different women.
He was later sued, along with Palm Beach’s Bethesda Memorial Hospital, over a botched surgery that left a woman with ghastly scars. Just last April, a jury awarded the woman $7.7 million.
Since his release from prison, Schreiber has continued to practice covertly, according to prosecutors. He was also arrested in Broward County on a slew of drug possession charges, for which he accepted a plea deal.
He is accused of operating on a man in 2015 who had received a botched “penis filler” operation from another suspected illegal doctor. In a Hialeah warehouse, Schreiber performed the surgery for $1,000 cash, according to police.
When the man regained consciousness at home, he discovered “blood soaked bandages” and that his penis has been “mutilated,” according to court documents.
The victim sent text-message photos of his mangled genitals to Schreiber, police said.
“At that point, rather than referring that gentleman to a hospital … he recommends to take two popsicle sticks and tie his penis together and wait for swelling to go down,” Eth said.
Schreiber’s defense attorney, Shahnam Yazdani, described her client as a devoted family man who, during his time as a doctor, traveled to Latin America to help the poor. “He gave back to his community,” she said.
But Circuit Judge Miguel de la O was swayed in the prosecution’s favor, although Florida law mandates Schreiber be allowed the chance for release on the charges. “If I could hold him no-bond, I would,” de la O said.