BIRMINGHAM – A Russian woman living in Irondale has been charged with the felony offense of practicing medicine without a license as the result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Secret Service Birmingham Cyber Fraud Task Force, the Homewood Police Department, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners.
Albina Cherkes, 57, was arrested by Homewood Police for illegally importing, dispensing and injecting unapproved foreign source Botox while falsely representing herself as a licensed dermatologist.
The investigation began after the FDA received an anonymous tip and a separate complaint from a Mountain Brook woman who experienced a negative reaction to an injection Cherkes gave her.
Further investigation revealed that the injections being administered by Cherkes were unapproved foreign source Botox that is on an FDA import alert.
“The FDA protects the public’s health by ensuring, among other things, that ‘Botox-like’ products are safe and effective for their intended uses,” said Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Miami Field Office. “We are fully committed to bringing to justice those who subvert FDA’s requirements and place unsuspecting American consumers at risk of serious harm by using unapproved and potentially unsafe products.”
“Those who practice medicine without a license are not only breaking the law, they are a threat to people’s lives. The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect people from the unlawful and fraudulent practice of medicine in this state,” said William Perkins, Executive Director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners.
The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners is the state regulatory and law enforcement agency responsible for regulating the practice of medicine in Alabama.
The U.S. Secret Service Birmingham Cyber Fraud Task Force consists of investigators from the U.S. Secret Service, Homewood Police Department, Mountain Brook Police Department, Hoover Police Department, Alabaster Police Department, Walmart Global Investigations, Hueytown Police Department, and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.