Maria Chrysson, aka the “Botox Bandit,” was arrested in Miami, Florida for allegedly scamming beauty clinics with bad checks. According to news reports, bond has been set in the amount of $20,000.
According to employees at one clinic, Chrysson left to get money from an ATM machine but never returned. In July, Fort Lauderdale Police stated that Chrysson made off with over $3,000 in Botox treatments from one clinic.
It is unknown whether or not Chrysson intends on hiring a private defense lawyer or will seek representation by the Public Defender’s Office.
A doctor at that clinic stated that Chrysson refused to have her photo taken and received 50 injections without any anesthetic. Clearly the doctor should not have said this and likely violated very serious HIPAA laws that are intended to protect patient information.
It is one thing to report a theft, it is another to make Chrysson sound like a freak by divulging her protected health care information. The fact that she had 50 injections without anesthesia has absolutely nothing to do with the criminal aspects of this case. In fact, anesthesia is rarely administered when patients get Botox.
It is clear that this statement was made simply to demean Chrysson and impugn her character by fueling the image of the “Botox Bandit” as a weirdo. Not only was that statement inappropriate, but it violated very strict Federal laws controlling the dissemination of protected health care information to third parties. No matter what happens with Chrysson’s case, this doctor may be liable to her for damages.
In fact, it makes me wonder if Chrysson skipped out on her bill after a dispute with this doctor. When analyzing a criminal case we need to hear both sides of a story before drawing conclusions. What if the doctor botched the treatment?
These are all factors to consider.
However, what hurts Chrysson most is a pattern of skipping out on her bills. If she bounced once or even twice, it may be excusable. But to do it to the point where you are labeled the “Botox Bandit” takes it to a whole different level.
Even though the charges Chrysson is facing are felonies, I am confidant that her case can be resolved with probation at the very worst. In my experience, cases like these resolve with probation unless the defendant has an extensive criminal history or has victimized the same person more than once.
Before making any strategic decisions on this case, defense lawyer will need to analyze all the facts and get an understanding of all that transpired between Chrysson and these clinics. While she may have skipped out on some bills, that may not be true in every case.
What appears to be a multi-jurisdictional, multi-count offense may actually only come down to one or two bad checks. Assuming Chrysson can make restitution payments, Chrysson will likely be able to avoid prison.
The other factor to consider is Chrysson’s mental health. If she is guilty of these crimes, there may be an underlying psychiatric issue that needs to be addressed. If her defense lawyers detect even the slightest problem, Chrysson may need to be evaluated for mental competency. If it is determined that she is not mentally competent, then prosecution of these cases will need to be deferred until her competency is restored, if ever.
Based on the nature of this case, I would suspect that she is fine. Although it is a defense lawyer’s job to obtain answers to all the relevant questions.
At the end of the day, Chrysson would benefit by hiring a defense lawyer to work on this case, represent her in court, and obtain the best results possible.