Med Spa Maverick Received More Than $1 Million In PPP Loans While Drug Charges Against Him Were Pending
When med spas and “lotions and potions” multilevel marketing representatives try to sell skincare products to male clients, they act like it is news that skin care is for men, too, but in Florida, we have known this for decades. Everyone who has been to South Florida has seen its impossibly handsome dudes, but do you think they got out of bed in the morning looking like that? The doctors, med spa staff members, and salespeople who tell you that their products really can make you look like a heart throb are telling you the truth, but at least one of them was not so honest about some other stuff. Here, our Miami drug crimes defense lawyer explains how one Florida man’s skincare empire thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as he was wanted for drug crimes.
Clear Skin, Shady Reputation
In order to provide medical care more affordable, physician assistants can examine patients and administer certain medical treatments under the supervision of a physician. Advertisements for medical assistant degree programs make it sound like it is a boring but stable job for military wives and their ilk, but this is only one possible application of a physician’s assistant license. Med spas are a potentially lucrative career path for physician assistants. Med spas offer cosmetic treatments that require varying levels of expertise to perform; a physician should be somewhere in the vicinity, but physician assistants are qualified to do most of the treatments, like chemical peels and Botox injections.
Anthony Loren Yarand took the latter career path. He operated a dermatological clinic in Tampa, Anthony Loren Skincare, which the makers of Botox ranked as one of their best customers; it administered more injectable dermal fillers than 97 percent of the other clinics in the United States. In 2013, Yarand also launched his own skincare product line, also called Anthony Loren.
Meanwhile, he managed to get involved in some legal disputes with estranged colleagues. For example, in 2011, he signed an agreement with Derek Eichler, pursuant to which Eichler would act as the supervising physician to Yarand’s clinic, in exchange for a 10 percent commission on the procedures the clinic performed under his supervision. The business relationship deteriorated, with Eichler alleging nonpayment and Yarand alleging that Eichler, whose medical office was located 75 miles away from Anthony Loren Skincare, failed to perform his duties as supervising physician. That lawsuit is still pending. Two other doctors also sued Yarand, but they later dropped him as a defendant from the lawsuit.
Gated Community Neighbors Not Surprised to See Defendant Behind Bars
Furthermore, rumors began to circulate that Yarand was not only in the business of smoothing out people’s wrinkles with fillers, but also of expanding their minds with drugs. In 2018, Yarand used proceeds from his thriving skincare clinic to buy a house in a gated community in a suburban Tampa Bay neighborhood. He quickly became persona non grata among his neighbors, though; they objected to the steady stream of young men being dropped off at the residence by taxicabs at all hours of the night. These men would pound angrily on Yarand’s door, and if he did not answer, they would knock on neighbors’ doors and demand to see Yarand. Soon neighbors and local police began to suspect that Yarand was dealing drugs. In February 2019, police searched a trash can in front of Yarand’s house and found a marijuana edible and a glass pipe with methamphetamine residue.
In March 2019, police executed a search warrant of Yarand’s house, where they found marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and MDMA, as well as counterfeit cash. Yarand posted bail and stayed out of jail while his case was pending. Life went on as normal at Anthony Loren Skincare until the fall of 2021, when Yarand was sentenced to two years in prison for drug crimes, and his physician assistant license was suspended.
And Then There Is the Matter of PPP Loan Fraud
March 2019 sounds like it was ages ago, and it was. Between Yarand’s original arrest and the beginning of his prison sentence, the COVID-19 pandemic began, and the Small Business Association offered Paycheck Protection Programs (PPP) to small businesses. Yarand’s businesses received more than $1 million in PPP loans, approximately $650,000 of which was eventually forgiven. In 2020, the Miami Herald published an expose of Yarand’s shady dealings in the context of widespread PPP fraud. Applicants who are defendants in pending criminal cases are not eligible to receive PPP funding, but Yarand got PPP loan applications approved before and after the piece appeared in the Miami Herald. Most of the lenders who provided his funding were FinTech lenders, which were notorious for providing funding to ineligible applicants.
Contact Our Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys
A South Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing criminal charges for selling drugs. Contact Ratzan & Faccidomo in Miami for a free, confidential consultation about your case.