A Las Vegas doctor convicted last year of injecting patients with a substitute version of Botox was sentenced last week to nearly four years in prison, about half of the time sought by federal prosecutors.
At a hearing Friday, attorneys for Dr. Stephen Seldon and his wife, Deborah Seldon, pleaded for leniency, citing the couple’s children.
Deborah Seldon, 41, who worked as an assistant at her husband’s clinic, A New You, received a 30-month sentence.
She told U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson that she was unaware that her husband was using TRItox, an experimental drug labeled: “For research purposes only, not for human use.” She said she had no medical background and did not know the “FDA from the CIA.”
“My background is taking care of my family,” she said.
During the couple’s trial in November, prosecutors said the Seldons advertised Botox treatments, but instead they used TRItox, which is about half the cost of the government-approved drug manufactured by Allergan.
During a two-year period ending in June 2005, the Seldons made $144,000 off customers who received cosmetic treatments. The government suggested they used TRItox for the majority of the treatments, but their attorneys argued that no evidence existed to back the allegations.
Attorneys said the couple have been devastated by the investigation and convictions. They lost their home to foreclosure, and Stephen Seldon was stripped of his medical license. The two have filed for divorce.
Dawson admonished the couple for failing to fill out a financial statement form to let the court see their losses both in funds and property. The Seldons said their attorneys advised them not to fill out the form for probation officers.
Dawson expressed frustration with the Seldons for failing to take responsibility. He said no patient suffered serious consequences from TRItox but noted that patients at a Florida clinic became seriously ill after being injected with the substance.
Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-384-8710.