Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

June 9, 2014: Spa Owner Pleads Guilty as Trial Set to Begin

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Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release


For Immediate Release
June 9, 2014

United States Attorney
Southern District of Texas
Contact: Angela Dodge
(713) 567-9388


McALLEN, Texas - Elva Navarro, 37, of Hidalgo, has entered a guilty plea to violating the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act as her federal trial was about to begin today, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

The investigation into Navarro began in November 2013 after law enforcement discovered she was involved with providing liquid silicone to women to effect the structure and function of their bodies.

Court documents demonstrated that Navarro would administer injections of liquid silicone into individuals who would frequent her facility - Bella Face and Body Spa in McAllen. These injections were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Navarro falsely represented to her customers that they were safe when, in fact, they were not.

During her plea today, Navarro admitted that on Oct. 5, 2013, she used an adulterated device, namely, liquid silicone on a female customer at her spa. Navarro knew that the substance had caused complications on previous occasions, but admitted she intended to mislead the woman by not disclosing that information to her female customer.

The woman later died as a result of the injections.

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, who accepted the plea, has set sentencing for Aug. 21, 2014. At that time, Navarro faces up to three years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine. She will remain in custody pending that hearing.

The case is being investigated by FDA, Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Leo is prosecuting.

Page Last Updated: 01/28/2015
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