Crime

The penis and butt surgeries went way wrong. And a fake doctor will pay for it

Mark Schreiber, a former doctor with a sordid history of practicing medicine, pleaded guilty to the illegal procedure that left a man with a mangled penis.
Mark Schreiber, a former doctor with a sordid history of practicing medicine, pleaded guilty to the illegal procedure that left a man with a mangled penis. Miami Herald

Former South Florida plastic surgeon Mark Schreiber, notorious for botched plastic surgeries over decades, is headed back to prison — this time for butt enhancement and penis enlargement procedures gone awry in Miami.

Schreiber agreed to spend 44 months behind bars on two counts of practicing medicine without a license.

When he gets out, the 62-year-old ex-doctor will also have to pay $145,000 in restitution to the victim of the butt implant, according to the plea deal struck last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

South Florida has long been a hub for troubled cosmetic procedures in both legal and illegal clinics.

The dangers of silicone injections in South Florida first gained national attention in 2013 when a popular Miami Spanish-language radio personality, Betty Pino, died of complications from a procedure done by another doctor to remove the substance from her buttocks.

As for Schreiber, he has a well-documented history of trouble in the medical profession that stretches back to June 1998, when Florida’s health department placed the Palm Beach County doctor 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.

His legitimate 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.

Authorities eventually arrested Schreiber and he agreed to serve two years in prison for illegally operating on four different women. He was later sued, along with West Palm Beach’s Bethesda Memorial Hospital, over a botched surgery that left a woman with ghastly scars. In April 2016, a jury awarded the woman $7.7 million.

After his release from prison in 2010, Schreiber 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.

In Miami-Dade, Schreiber was charged in state court in one case for an injection he did at the now-defunct Bella Beauty Spa, where hundreds of women had their butts injected with misbranded and illegal silicone.

The West Miami-Dade clinic was owned by Maribel Jimenez, who was recently sentenced to six years in federal prison for importing the silicone from Colombia. Another spa employee, Magaly del Rosario, was later sentenced to four years and eight months in federal prison.

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Maribel Jimenez Miami-Dade Corrections

In April, a Miami-Dade judge ordered Jimenez and Schreiber to pay $818,000 in damages to a former patient of Bella Beauty who suffered permanent injuries as a result of a botched Brazilian butt lift surgery. He was charged criminally in state court, and will have to pay the additional $145,000 to Stephanie Rodriguez, who suffered extensive injures after the botched procedure.

Schreiber also pleaded guilty in the separate penis case, although the case was hampered because the victim was reluctant to testify in public. He operated on a man in 2015 who had received a botched “penis filler” operation from another suspected illegal doctor.

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,” a Miami-Dade prosecutor said at a hearing last year.

Schreiber’s plea came just one month after Miami-Dade prosecutors had to drop a manslaughter case in another high-profile case, that of a purported doctor from Venezuela who was suspected of giving silicone butt injections that killed a young mother, Suyima Torres.

The defendant, Jose Robusto, denied being at the clinic — run by a porn actress known as Vanessa Luna — that day and prosecutors decided they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he gave her the fatal injections. Robusto, however, pleaded guilty to an earlier injection to Torres; he spent more than one year in jail and will be deported to Venezuela.

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