Illegal liposuction leads to death

Luiz Carlos Ribeiro, 49, a native of Brazil, and Ana Maria Miranda Ribeiro, also 49, pleaded not guilty to the unauthorized practice of medicine and drug charges at their arraignment.

Luiz Ribeiro was ordered held on $250,000 bail while his wife was held on $50,000 bail. Both were ordered to surrender their passports. Neither had yet obtained an attorney, according to the district attorney's office.

Just last week, the husband taped an interview for a local cable-access television show to warn against seeking medical care from unlicensed professionals, said Ilma Paixao, who conducted the interview.

The couple are accused of performing an illegal liposuction on Fabiola DePaula, 24, of Framingham, who died Sunday after being taken unconscious to a local hospital, the AP reports.

Autopsy results will not be known for several days, and charges could be upgraded, District Attorney Martha Coakley said.

Luiz Ribeiro might be a licensed doctor in Brazil, but he has no license to practice in Massachusetts, she said.

The Ribeiros have apparently traveled regularly between Brazil and Massachusetts for two or three years, Coakley said. The defendants charged from $1,800 to $3,000 per procedure and relied on word-of-mouth referrals for business, she said.

The surgeries were performed on a massage table in the basement of a local condominium, prosecutor Lee Hettinger said.

Two other women have come forward to say they underwent medical procedures there, Coakley said. One is hospitalized with an infection.

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