‘Vampire facials’ salon owner arrested after beauty salon customers contract HIV

A beauty salon owner has been charged after allegedly offering "vampire facials" which left at least two clients with HIV.

Maria Ramos de Ruiz, 59, is accused of giving the unauthorised treatments made famous by celebs including the Kardashians and Chrissy Teigen.

The former owner of VIP beauty Salon and Spa in New Mexico, US, allegedly conned 137 clients with fake diplomas and continued treatments when ordered to stop after one tested positive for HIV.

She was this week indicted with more than 20 felony counts including racketeering, tax evasion, fraud, and practicing medicine without a license, people.com reports.

The skin procedure involves removing blood from the body before reinserting it into the face with tiny needles.

Her indictment was officially announced by the New Mexico Attorney General's Office two days later on Wednesday.

It comes after an unemployed Las Vegas woman identified as Maria Sabata Gutierrez, 49, last November arrested on suspicion of posing as a nurse and performing "vampire facials" was due to appear for a preliminary court hearing this March.

Gutierrez allegedly told one woman she used to work for a medical office where she regularly performed the facials, but had lost her license and was trying to get it back.

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When a concerned doctor treating the woman suffering adverse effects called Gutierrez, she said she was a trained nurse "operating out of her trunk" using equipment ordered online from Mexico.

Now a statement from the state's attorney general confirmed an investigation into Ramos de Ruiz began in 2019, when "at least two of the salon's clients contracted HIV" after receiving "vampire facials".

It read: "The New Mexico Department of Health in August 2018 learned a person with no risk factors for HIV had contracted the bloodborne infection after getting a 'vampire facial' at the VIP Beauty Salon and Spa.

"The DOH, the New Mexico Regulation, and Licensing Department, and deputy director of Boards and Commissions inspected the VIP Spa the following month."

While they learned Ramos de Ruiz did have a cosmetologist license, it had expired in 2013.

"Ramos de Ruiz told them she does breast and buttocks sculpting, cellulite treatments and 'vampire facials,'" the statement continued.

"Inspectors found 'numerous health code violations and unsafe infection control practices,' including unwrapped needles, blood being dumped into the kitchen sink and unlabeled syringes beside food in the refrigerator."

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The probe also found "foreign and American prescription and 'dangerous' drugs, and medical products that required an order from a licensed physician," according to a copy of the indictment.

Inspectors alleged the apparatus used to extract clients' blood and return it to their skin weren't adequately cleaned or disinfected between uses.

They further allege Ramos de Ruiz displayed fake diplomas and educational certificates inside the salon, saying she was trained to perform Botox procedures and "vampire facials".

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Ramos de Ruiz was ordered to cease the procedures in late 2018.

Then, in February 2019, it was learned a second person had contracted HIV after receiving "vampire facial" treatments from Ramos de Ruiz, authorities said.

Both clients tested positive for the same strain of the HIV virus.

Authorities allege 137 clients received "unlicensed and fraudulent services" from Ramos de Ruiz.

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She is charged with individual counts of racketeering and fraud, as well as five counts of practicing medicine without a license, six counts of money laundering, four counts of tax evasion, and seven counts of willful failure to collect and pay taxes.

It is unclear if she has entered pleas to the charges, or had a lawyer who could speak on her behalf.

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