x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Bogus plastic surgeon defends himself in Dubai court

A man who impersonated famous surgeon Dr Steven Hopping and performed botched operations on his kitchen table defends himself in a Dubai appeals court.

DUBAI // A man who impersonated a famous US plastic surgeon and performed botched operations on his kitchen table told an appeals court yesterday that he had never endangered lives. SM, 40, an American, was sentenced to two months in jail in February for impersonating the Washington-based surgeon Dr Steven Hopping, forging documents, operating an illegal clinic from his kitchen and endangering lives.

In a separate set of charges he was sentenced to six months in jail for performing botched surgeries on three patients. At his appeal hearing yesterday SM argued he had not put lives in danger and that he had been practising medicine for many years before his licence was revoked. The bogus plastic surgeon was arrested last February after an investigation by the Dubai Health Authority and Dubai Police revealed that he was performing surgeries on his kitchen table.

He arrived in the country in 2007 after his US medical licence was revoked in 2004. FBI and Interpol want him on charges including drug possession and trafficking, crimes against life and health, and giving false statements to the US government. The charges related to a 2003 lawsuit brought by the Oregon attorney general, Hardy Myers, who claimed SM broke consumer protection laws and illegally imported human growth hormone from China.

The court adjourned his case to next month. amustafa@thenational.ae