“Rarely is there a spotlight on the work of investigators at the California Department of Consumers Affairs Division of Investigations but this case is a shining example of how these investigators work to protect consumers from harm.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
SHASTA COUNTY – On December 7, 2021, the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office announced that following a preliminary hearing, Susan Ann Tancreto was held to answer to felony charges ranging from battery with great bodily injury to mayhem involving a case in which she is accused of administering illegal treatments to 14 victims.
She was also held to answer for dissuading a witness, misdemeanor battery, and the unlicensed practice of medicine. The case was put over to December 20th, 2021 for an Arraignment on Information, at which time a trial date will set.
This case was investigated by the California Department of Consumer Affairs Division of Investigation (DCA-DOI), U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Medical Board of California, and Investigator Kristy Burns from the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigation.
Based on investigative reports received from DCA-DOI and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 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 possessed such licenses. 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 sold the Botox product to Tancreto, even though she was not authorized or permitted to acquire or administer it. 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.
According to the investigation, Tancreto also purchased products online from out of the country. 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 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 offered, sold, furnished, or gave away a variety of controlled substances including: Norco, Valium, and Tramadol.