Feds charge former Tulsa spa owner

Elisa Kaye Sanders, photo from YouTube.com

TULSA, Okla. – A woman who operated a Tulsa spa was indicted on charges related to the use of prescription drugs purchased from unauthorized sources from November 2012 to April 2018, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores Friday. A federal grand jury returned the indictment charging Elisa Kaye Sanders, 60, of Tulsa, with two counts of mail fraud and 13 counts of wire fraud.

Sanders was a majority owner and operator of L’Chaim Medical Spa, previously known as Enhance Skin and Body Medical Spa. Sanders participated in and oversaw the spa’s purchase, receipt, holding, and administration of drugs and devices used for the treatment of clients, including Botox and Juvederm.

According to the indictment, Sanders defrauded clients seeking treatment from her spa; her staff; and state and federal regulatory agencies responsible for the oversight of the spa. Sanders is alleged to have obtained Botox and Juvederm Ultra 3 and 4 from unauthorized sources who diverted it from the legitimate prescription drug supply chain. The indictment alleges the defendant failed to advise her clients of the sources of the prescription drugs and devices used at the spa.

“A federal grand jury indicted Ms. Sanders for her alleged criminal actions associated with the administration of drugs, like Botox and Juvederm,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “This United States Attorney’s Office will continue to pursue cases against healthcare providers who skirt FDA regulations developed to ensure the safety of individuals receiving prescription drug treatments.”

In September 2016, Sanders was advised by Food and Drug Administration representatives that purchasing prescription drugs and devices from unauthorized sources was illegal, but soon after, she continued to purchase the prescription drugs from unauthorized sources. From October 2016 to May 2018, Sanders sold approximately 30,000 units of Botox. Approximately 3,000 of those units were purchased from the unauthorized sources.

Elisa Kaye Sanders, photo from alignable.com

In count one of the indictment, Sanders is charged with mail fraud. She is alleged to have purchased Botox in 2015 from an unauthorized source in Mumbai, India, which was then shipped to Tulsa. When purchasing the drug, Sanders claimed it was for her own use. The indictment alleges that Sanders actually used the drug on spa clients.

In count two, Sanders is also charged with mail fraud for sending altered medical records to a client’s physician. The records were altered to show that Juvederm Ultra Plus XC had been administered to the client when, in fact, Juvederm Ultra 4 was administered. Juvederm Ultra 3 and 4 are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States.

In counts three through ten of the indictment, Sanders is charged with wire fraud related to eight payments made by customers for the Botox and Juvederm received from unauthorized sources.

Finally, in counts eleven through fifteen, Sanders is charged with wire fraud related to five payments made to Global Health for the purchase of Botox from unauthorized sources. Shortly after the Food and Drug Administration representative’s warning in 2016, Sanders allegedly directed an individual to purchase the Botox from unauthorized sources and have the drug mailed to the individual’s business. Sanders would later pick up the drug and reimburse the individual with cash.

Sanders faces a maximum of twenty years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a maximum of three years of supervised release for each count of mail fraud and wire fraud.

The Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shannon Cozzoni and Scott Proctor are prosecuting the case.

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