On January 16th, 2019

Shasta County Woman Charged with Practicing Medicine Without a License A DCA and FDA investigation

SHASTA COUNTY – On January 16, 2019, the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office announced charges against Susan Ann Tancreto for  felony violations including:

  • mayhem,
  • battery with serious bodily injury,
  • unlicensed practice of medicine,
  • selling/transporting a controlled substance,
  • and dissuading a witness.

Additionally, Larry Richard Pyle M.D. is charged with aiding or abetting in the unlicensed practice of medicine.

Based on investigative reports received from the California Department of Consumer Affairs-Division of Investigation (DCA-DOI) and the United Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the following is a synopsis of the case: After receiving a complaint, investigations revealed that Tancreto was allegedly providing filler, Botox, and other similar treatments at a local spa and other locations.

The use of prescriptive medical devices and injections for cosmetic reasons is the practice of medicine. Physicians may inject Botox, or they may direct registered nurses or physician assistants to perform the injection under their supervision; no unlicensed persons, such as medical assistants, may inject Botox.

Tancreto allegedly told multiple victims she was a nurse who worked for Dr. Pyle. However, Tancreto does not possess a medical doctor or nurse’s license and never has.

According to DCA-DOI and FDA investigators, Tancreto purchased Botox, a prescription-only drug, sold to her by Dr. Pyle, which she would take off-site to inject individuals who thought she was nurse. Dr. Pyle allegedly sold the Botox product to Tancreto, even though she was not authorized or permitted to acquire or administer it.  According to investigators, Dr. Pyle did not examine the individuals who were receiving Botox and/or filler treatments from Tancreto to ensure they were appropriate candidates to receive such treatment.

It is alleged that Tancreto also purchased products online from out of the country and that some of Tancreto’s Botox and/or filler injections resulted in severe injury and significant facial deformities to victims, who now require long term medical treatment. One of the victims, after seeing a surgeon who conducted a biopsy, learned that Tancreto allegedly injected silicone into her lips and as a result, she now may require lifelong treatment to treat the injury sustained to her lips (silicone has not been approved by the FDA to be injected to fill wrinkles or augment tissues anywhere in the body).

Further investigations by the DCA-DOI and FDA also revealed that Tancreto allegedly offered, sold, furnished, or gave away a variety of controlled substances including: Norco, Valium, and Tramadol.

“DCA-DOI investigators work to protect consumers from harm such as that alleged in this case,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.   “You don’t see a spotlight on these state investigators or their cases, but these sworn peace officers work daily to investigate individuals suspected of crimes against consumers.”

Due to the danger posed to the public health by the nature of these allegations, the District Attorney’s Office encourages anyone who has received treatments from Tancreto, or has been injured as a result of Botox or any filler injection treatments from Tancreto, to report it to the District Attorney’s Office Consumer Protection Hotline at 530-225-5391. Shasta County Crime Victims Assistance Center may be able to assist victims of Tancreto with medical bills associated with this case.

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