A federal judge sentenced a North Carolina man to 14 years in prison for giving a Maryland woman silicone butt injections before her death, officials said.
Vinnie Lysander Taylor, 44, of Wilmington, N.C., traveled the country injecting women with silicone that he said would give them larger buttocks, and at least one of the women died days after undergoing the procedure at a hotel in Capitol Heights, according to prosecutors.
Officials said Taylor would typically meet his clients in hotel rooms along the East Coast equipped with gallons of silicone, super glue and cotton balls, and performed procedures that he claimed would give them fuller figures and were safe.
In seven years, authorities said Taylor administered the injections to women in more than 3,000 sessions. He is not a doctor and did not have a medical license.
He had a scheme where he set up several branches of a clothing store called Shuga K’s in Pennsylvania, Georgia and North Carolina. He used the store’s name and ordered liquid silicone from a Pennsylvania company.
It was food-grade silicone that was meant for bottling and canning, not medical-grade silicone, according to an indictment and prosecutors. About 180 times from 2008 to 2014, officials said, Taylor received gallons of it from the company.
He also stored it in unlabeled plastic bottles and used it on women who were looking for services in Maryland, Virginia and St. Louis. He charged clients fees ranging from $800 to $1,000 for initial visits and $350 to $800 for repeat sessions. Officials said he made about $1.59 million.
“After injecting the silicone, Taylor used super glue and cotton balls to prevent the silicone from leaking and wrapped her buttocks in plastic wrap,” a May plea agreement stated in describing the process.
In the case of the Maryland woman, officials said she meet him at a hotel room in March 2014. She began having troubles breathing after she left. She was taken to an area hospital where she later died.
The medical examiner found the woman’s cause of death “to be acute and chronic respiratory failure due to a foreign substance,” court records stated.
After that incident, Taylor told other clients that her death was “not his fault as he was ‘just trying to fix her,’ ” federal prosecutors have said. He also said that she had “been sick when she came to him.”
Authorities arrested Taylor in January. He pleaded guilty in May to federal fraud charges for administering the illegal injections. He was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel to the term, which will be followed by three years of supervised release.
“Industrial-grade silicone that is injected into individuals’ bodies can cause serious bodily injury or death,” said Mark S. McCormack, a special agent in charge of the Metro Washington field office of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, in a statement.
Lynh Bui and Julie Zauzmer contributed to this report.