Doctor, Wife Accused of Injecting Patients with Non-Botox Botulism

A doctor and his wife are accused of injecting patients with an unapproved botulism toxin instead of Botox, authorities said.

Dr. Stephen Lee Seldon, 52, and his wife, Deborah Martinez Seldon, 39, were arrested Thursday. They each pleaded not guilty in federal court to 14 counts of mail fraud and one count of adulterating a drug held for sale, said Steven Myhre, acting U.S. attorney for Nevada.

Beginning in October 2003, Stephen Lee Seldon bought the cheaper Botox alternative, known as botulinum toxin type A, without alerting patients at A New You Medical Aesthetics, his Las Vegas practice managed by his wife, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

The indictment said the couple bought more than $86,000 of the drug by mail from Tucson, Ariz.-based Toxin Research International Inc., which labeled it for "Research purposes only, not for human use."

Myhre said the Seldons falsified patient waivers to cover up the use of the unauthorized substance, and falsely advertised they were using Botox.

"The Seldons maintain they never injected patients with anything that was not approved by the FDA," Deborah Seldon's lawyer, Donn Ianuzi, said.

Stephen Seldon had not yet retained a lawyer.

If convicted, the Seldons face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each mail fraud count, and up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine on the drug adulterating charge. They were released on a personal recognizance bond.