SALT LAKE CITY (WITI) — His patients thought he was a doctor, but the man who went by the nickname "Doc Hollywood" was a fake.
"He would maim and scar these people because it wasn't being done properly," explained U.S. Postal Inspector Stephen Danson.
William Ferguson was impersonating a doctor — performing procedures and dispensing prescriptions without a license. Initially, patients would visit Hollywood Body and Laser Center for a weight loss program known as HCG.
"This was a last-ditch effort to lose weight naturally through some sort of prescription…The problem was there was no doctor supervising this clinic and so many of these prescriptions were false and the female consumers were not examined by a doctor," Danson said.
HCG Diet consists of injections and a 500-calorie a day diet. If that didn't work, Ferguson recommended alternatives.
"One of those was liposuction. The person who performed this procedure was not a doctor – was not being supervised by a doctor," Danson said.
The clinic offered treatments for hair removal, acne, skin rejuvenation and cellulite.
20 victims lost more than $80,000 and many of them suffered psychological and physical harm.
"There were several people who had permanent scarring and would never be able to be remedied," Danson said.
Before you consider have any cosmetic procedure — do your homework.
"Just because you visit a facility where people that have lab coats does not mean they are doctors — does not mean they are medically licensed. You need to be sure the business you are interacting with has the proper licensing for the state where you reside," Danson said.
William Ferguson was sentenced to more than 2 years in prison and 3 years probation.