HONOLULU (AP) — A New York City couple was handed prison sentences after pleading guilty on charges of illegally injecting women in Honolulu with wrinkle-reducing drugs similar to Botox.
Bu Young Kim was sentenced to three months in prison, and her husband, Chan Hui Cho, was sentenced to two months after federal authorities said they imported drugs from South Korea to administer in Hawaii, Hawaii News Now reported on Nov. 4. The couple was arrested in March 2016, and they entered guilty pleas in February.
The couple traveled to South Korea to pick up the drugs and would fly to Hawaii, where Kim would inject women in places like Honolulu hotel rooms, federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations said.
The couple charged between $100 and $500 for the treatments. They didn’t tell customers that “Kim was administering and dispensing prescription drugs that only a licensed practitioner could administer and dispense,” according to a court document. The drugs were not approved by the U.S.; Food and Drug Administration.
The scale of the operation was unexpected, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Sorenson said.
“We were initially surprised. The conduct was something we had not seen before,” Sorenson said. “You can understand it happening on a small scale but this was a much larger scale than we had seen before.”
Michael Green, Kim’s attorney, said his client didn’t realize the magnitude of the crimes, but she cooperated with authorities from the beginning.
“She didn’t set out to hurt anyone,” Green said. “This is what she knew, and she wound up getting arrested for it.”