Former Lake Oswego resident Dr. Jerome Nicholas Lentini was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution of approximately $330,000 to more than 800 victims Monday in federal court in Portland.
Lentini, who now lives in Salem, pled guilty to injecting patients with drugs that had not been approved for use on humans by the Food and Drug Administration. Lentini told patients he was using an FDA-approved drug.
Lentini operated two clinics, one in Tigard and one in Salem. The clinics offered what Lentini called 'anti-aging' treatments. Botulinum toxin injections, intended to smooth facial wrinkles, accounted for the bulk of the treatments provided by the clinics.
Lentini operated the clinics together with a nurse, Cathryn Lyn Garcia. Instead of using FDA-approved 'Botox Cosmetic,' Lentini and Garcia used drugs manufactured in the Peoples Republic of China and research grade drugs manufactured in the United States that were labeled 'not for human use.'
The investigation into Lentini was launched after four people were critically injured in Florida after ingesting non-FDA approved botulinum toxin. The evidence showed that even after learning of the injuries, Lentini and Garcia ordered more of the Chinese toxins from an Internet source based in Turkey.
Lentini was sentenced by Judge Ancer L. Haggerty of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon
Garcia, Lentini's co-defendant, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, which she is currently serving at Dublin Federal Correctional Institute in Dublin, Calif.
'Our relationship with our doctor is a relationship of trust. Dr. Lentini violated that trust, and deserved severe punishment,' said United States Attorney Karin J. Immergut.
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Food and Drug Administration conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Dwight C. Holton led the prosecution of Lentini.