This week on Clinic Talk, Dr. Javad Sajan and Sabrina Sajan tell one of the most exciting and unbelievable plastic surgery stories from their clinic. A patient came in wanting a rhinoplasty and facial surgery that would leave them unrecognizable. This was an odd request and it soon spiraled into a series of events that soon revealed this patient was not who they appeared to be.
This story includes odd patient behavior, check fraud, and eventually, a full scale FBI sting. or more real plastic surgery stories, subscribe to the Plastic Surgeon Podcast and follow Dr. Sajan on Instagram @realdrseattle.
To learn more about the Plastic Surgeon Podcast, visit https://www.plasticsurgeonpodcast.com
Learn more about Dr. Sajan’s plastic surgery at https://www.allureesthetic.com
Dr. Javad Sajan 00:01
Ever wonder what motivates people to get plastic surgery? Did they regret it? What can we learn from the stories of plastic surgery patients? I'm Dr. Javad Sajan and this is a clinic talk on the plastic surgeon podcast.
Dr. Javad Sajan 00:31
Welcome to the plastic surgeon podcast, where we listen to real plastic surgery, stories of triumph and pain from real patients and providers to further understand the motivations or why they would risk their life under the knife? I'm Dr. Javad Sajan and today is clinic talk with CEO Allure Esthetic Sabrina Sajan, Sabrina. How's it going?
Sabrina Sajan 00:51
It's going great.
Dr. Javad Sajan 00:53
We have a real wild story today about a terrorist sting operation that happened in the office. Is that right?
Sabrina Sajan 00:59
Yes so this was a few months ago. We had a patient come in and they scheduled a consultation and they had a,
Dr. Javad Sajan 01:11
And he was with the other doctor in our practice.
Sabrina Sajan 01:14
Dr. Javad Sajan 01:14
So I heard about all this on the side.
Sabrina Sajan 01:16
Yes, this appointment was with a different doctor. That's part of our practice. And this patient came in for our consultation for a facial consultation.
Dr. Javad Sajan 01:27
He wanted a Rhinoplasty, Right?
Sabrina Sajan 01:28
Yes. Correct. So he wanted a rhinoplasty and then he also wanted to remove this significant scar that he had on his face.
Dr. Javad Sajan 01:37
And I was talking to the other doctor and he told me that consult was weird because a patient specifically requested to look different.
Sabrina Sajan 01:46
Yes. The patient wanted to do multiple surgeries quickly. And he wanted to do these because he said he wanted to look different. That's correct.
Dr. Javad Sajan 01:58
And people come here wanting to look different, but I remember he asked to have a different face and be unrecognizable. And that's what he was meaning by different because oftentimes when people say different than wanting to remove a hump from their nose, they want a smaller nose. But he said very specifically, I want to look like a different person. And that was our first red flag, right?
Sabrina Sajan 02:20
Yes. He said that I want people that know me not to recognize me anymore.
Dr. Javad Sajan 02:26
Sabrina Sajan 02:28
And we said Hmm. We haven't heard that one before.
Dr. Javad Sajan 02:31
So he booked surgery same day, right?
Sabrina Sajan 02:33
Yeah. So he came in for the consultation with someone else. It was so two people that came in the other gentleman waited in the lobby and he told the staff that that was his driver. And the patient was taken back for their consultation.
Dr. Javad Sajan 02:51
And he said he had a driver cause he had just flown in from out of state for the specific consult.
Sabrina Sajan 02:55
Correct. Um and he have the consultation and then he was on the phone during his consultation.
Dr. Javad Sajan 03:06
During the consultation with the doctor he was on the phone.
Sabrina Sajan 03:08
Yeah. He answered the phone while the doctor was in there. And then-
Dr. Javad Sajan 03:11
Dr. J I'm a lot easier going, Dr. J does not like that.
Sabrina Sajan 03:15
No. and then the doctor stepped out and then there was the clinic staff was explaining everything to the patient of, you know, what the next steps are and how to proceed and all that kind of stuff. And he's like, yeah, yeah. I just want to basically book the procedure right now. And then the clinic staff member said, well, I don't do that. You have to meet with our surgical care coordinator who will then assist you with booking the procedure. And while this is all those conversations are happening, the patient is still on the phone. He's talking in another language to someone.
Dr. Javad Sajan 03:51
What they, so they couldn't figure out what he was talking about.
Sabrina Sajan 03:54
No, the clinic staff member didn't figure out what the patient was talking about. He just was talking another language while the clinic staff member is telling him what the next steps are, how to book this, appoint a surgery.
Dr. Javad Sajan 04:09
So after the clinic person is done the surgical coordinator goes in and gives the quote.
Sabrina Sajan 04:13
Dr. Javad Sajan 04:13
And then he pays right away and books or what happened next?
Sabrina Sajan 04:17
Yeah. So he asked if he could have surgery today.
Dr. Javad Sajan 04:22
Sabrina Sajan 04:22
Yeah. and of course the surgical care coordinator said, well, we don't have openings today. We don't do surgeries today, but I'm welcome to look at the next available date. And I can offer that to you. And he said, well, I'll have to get it done within a week to two weeks maximum because I'm going back where I came from and I just have to get this done right away.
Dr. Javad Sajan 04:44
Did he tell us where he was going back? Was that in the US or was he going back outside the US.
Sabrina Sajan 04:48
He was within the US, "He was going back to the East coast", he said.
Dr. Javad Sajan 04:51
Sabrina Sajan 04:52
He has to go back to the East coast. So he wants to get surgery right away. And, you know, she explained to him, this is the cost of it. And because you want to get surgery within, you know, two weeks or within a week or two, you have to pay with either cash or you have to bring a cashier's check.
Dr. Javad Sajan 05:11
And we do that because we've had people give us bad checks.
Sabrina Sajan 05:14
Dr. Javad Sajan 05:15
And the checks sometimes bounce after surgery. Cause it takes up to-
Sabrina Sajan 05:19
7 to 14 days.
Dr. Javad Sajan 05:21
And so because of that short window, he had to give cash or a cashier check, which are guaranteed.
Sabrina Sajan 05:25
Correct and he said, sure. And then she said that well I need to deposit in order to book your surgery. So he said, well, I don't have the deposit right now, but I can go run to the bank and give you the full amount with a cashier's check.
Dr. Javad Sajan 05:40
Sabrina Sajan 05:41
Same day. And so he leaves with his driver. And then after a few hours, he comes back with the full amount on the cashier's check. It's legit cash, your check. And it's perfect.
Dr. Javad Sajan 05:54
So it wasn't a thousand dollars deposit, for the whole surgery.
Sabrina Sajan 05:57
Sabrina Sajan 05:58
He paid for the whole surgery with a cashier's check.
Dr. Javad Sajan 06:00
It was, I saw it was like a bank check. Which bank was it?
Sabrina Sajan 06:04
I'm pretty sure either it was chase or Wells Fargo.
Dr. Javad Sajan 06:07
Oh yeah. I think it was, no, it was HSBC.
Sabrina Sajan 06:10
Dr. Javad Sajan 06:11
Yes. So they don't have local. Do they have locations in Seattle? I don't even think they do?
Sabrina Sajan 06:15
I don't know. Yeah, I think it was HSBCHSBC bank account and he brought the cashier check, paid for a surgery with that and he was booked. He was booked for, I think four days after, five days after the from that consultation date. Cause he wanted to get a rushed surgery date.
Dr. Javad Sajan 06:35
And they made an exception to squeeze him in. Right?
Sabrina Sajan 06:38
Yes. He was really adamant with the doctor. He was really adamant with the surgical care coordinator that he had to get this done within a week. So they made an exception for him and they squeezed him in and he said he was going to pay the full amount right away.
Dr. Javad Sajan 06:50
This whole time. Was he acting weird?
Sabrina Sajan 06:52
He just was very adamant that he just had to get this done right away.
Dr. Javad Sajan 06:57
You got the cashier check. Do you take it to the bank the same day or was it normal routine?
Sabrina Sajan 07:01
Yeah. So we booked the surgery of course. We had to do his pre-op the same day because the surgery was so soon. And he was okay with that. He did the pre-op. We did all of that. Everything was good to go. He was scheduled and everything. And went to the bank, deposit the check. No worries at all.
Dr. Javad Sajan 07:20
No, I remember his nurse who was there for the consult. She told me that there was a comment that was off that he made. And he told her when I am going to sleep and waking up.
Sabrina Sajan 07:32
Yes, I remember this.
Dr. Javad Sajan 07:33
What did he say something?
Sabrina Sajan 07:34
He said to her, he said, “could you let the surgical team know that when you guys put me to sleep?” That don't believe anything I say.
Dr. Javad Sajan 07:45
Sabrina Sajan 07:46
Yeah. It was really weird. He said that, “Oh, I just when I put to sleep, I just like say weird things”. So when I'm saying stuff in my sleep, when he goes, put me to sleep for the surgery, just don't believe me, everything is just probably false information.
Dr. Javad Sajan 08:00
I've never had anyone say that and I've done thousands of surgeries.
Sabrina Sajan 08:03
Yeah. Yeah, so then he was scheduled for surgery. Everything was good. I went to the bank deposit check and everything. After about, I think it was like 24 hours. After I had gone to the bank, we got a phone call. And on the phone call, it was a private investigator. They introduced himself.
Dr. Javad Sajan 08:27
Like a private, like a regular person or was it like detective?
Sabrina Sajan 08:31
It was bank investigator from HSBCHSBC. It was a man on the phone. He said, I'm calling from HSBCHSBC bank. One of the investigators here, could I speak to someone that handled your bank accounts? And I spoke to one of our surgical care coordinators who had accepted the check. She actually spoke to the big guy on the phone and she said, “Oh, I was the one that helped this person to, you know got the check from him and I, you know, verify everything”. Oh, another weird thing about him was he had two IDs, two different names on his ID.
Dr. Javad Sajan 09:08
How do we catch that?
Sabrina Sajan 09:09
Well we asked for ID at the pre-op and he gave us two forms of ID and the names were different, but he had said that he was, had named change.
Dr. Javad Sajan 09:19
Sabrina Sajan 09:20
So then we had that phone call and basically the investigator on the phone said are you aware of who this person is that deposit the check? We said, “no, this is a patient here trying to get surgery”. And the bank alerted us that the person had a warrant against them.
Dr. Javad Sajan 09:41
Okay. And that's all, they told you, there's a warrant.
Sabrina Sajan 09:43
Yes. They said that there is a warrant against this person and that check is fraudulent. This person does not have this money. This person doesn't even have an account with HSBCHSBC. This is a made up check. And that there is no money and you guys will not receive the money.
Dr. Javad Sajan 10:01
And then I remember you came to me and you were like, what do I do now?
Sabrina Sajan 10:05
Dr. Javad Sajan 10:05
I was like, what do we do?
Dr. Javad Sajan 10:07
And the banker didn't, did they give us instructions on what to do next? Or what did the banker say to-
Sabrina Sajan 10:10
Yes. The banker said that you should contact your local FBI or police department in terms of this patient.
Dr. Javad Sajan 10:18
And then when we talked, I was like, let's call the police because this is weird. We're not going to let somebody get away with a crime. And then we called the local police first.
Sabrina Sajan 10:27
Correct. We call the local police.
Dr. Javad Sajan 10:28
And you call them. And what did you tell them?
Sabrina Sajan 10:31
I told them that the patient came in, they deposit a check, then we received when I deposit the check for that I received a call from the bank saying that this person has warrant against them and that we should contact the local police or the FBI about this person.
Dr. Javad Sajan 10:45
Sabrina Sajan 10:46
And police said, okay, we'll be at your location in a few minutes and we'll go and get a statement from you.
Dr. Javad Sajan 10:52
Then they came here in the middle of the clinic day, and it was just a normal cop that came.
Sabrina Sajan 10:58
Yeah. So it was a normal cop that came they asked us fall information that we had about this individual. We gave them all the information and everything. And they asked about like what surgery he was getting in all that we couldn't, we had to figure out what information we could give them and not give them.
Dr. Javad Sajan 11:13
And we call the lawyer. And we asked the lawyer.
Sabrina Sajan 11:15
Correct. So we all were only be told to give certain information to them. So we gave them whatever we could.
Dr. Javad Sajan 11:21
And we have to follow a H-I-P-A-A, right. The health information portability protection app. So when we have patients here, we can't disclose details. We have to be very strict on what we say? How we say it? And who we say to?
Sabrina Sajan 11:34
Correct. So we made sure that we gave the only information that was told that we were allowed to give. And then the police, you know, why he gave me his card and he left. A few minutes late, a few like hours later, they called us again and asked us more information. And then they asked us a picture of the check. So then I had to download it from the bank website, give them a picture of the check. I think they contacted HSBC to get information from them. And then they called us back.
Dr. Javad Sajan 12:06
Third time. Third call.
Sabrina Sajan 12:07
Third call. And this call was kind of scary. The investigator was now an FBI special agent that was on the phone. And he had been alerted involved now in this situation and basically told us that this individual has many warrants against them. They are also involved in bigger criminal activities, such as terrorism.
Dr. Javad Sajan 12:37
They said he was a terrorist.
Sabrina Sajan 12:40
Dr. Javad Sajan 12:41
He said, he was from the middle East.
Sabrina Sajan 12:43
Correct and that this individual is involved in terrorist activities and that they're possibly doing the surgery or trying to do the surgery to change their appearance. So they wouldn't get caught.
Dr. Javad Sajan 12:54
That was like a jaw-dropping moment when you told me that.
Sabrina Sajan 12:58
It was really scary. I couldn't believe it. I was talking to an FBI like special agent on the phone about an individual that had just came here like two days ago.
Dr. Javad Sajan 13:07
That's wild. I remember all the staff got super scared.
Sabrina Sajan 13:11
Everyone was so scared. Like what was going to happen? What are you going to do? His surgery was the next day.
Dr. Javad Sajan 13:18
So what did the FBI say? What do they want us to do?
Sabrina Sajan 13:20
So the FBI and the police, the Lynnwood police Seattle, like all these different forces were basically involved in this case. And they basically told us that we are not allowed to cancel the procedure. And basically the patient was under the impression that the surgery is happening. And the patient called us twice, which was two more red flags. After that, he actually called to speak to the surgical care coordinator to ask if everything was okay with the payment.
Dr. Javad Sajan 13:51
That's weird. So what did the FBI want to do to catch him?
Sabrina Sajan 13:55
So basically they told us that we have to just keep it calm, act like the surgery is happening, let him know the check was okay, let him know everything is good. And he’s up for surgery. And have him just come like a normal patient would come. And basically they wanted to do a sting operation.
Dr. Javad Sajan 14:12
And they wanted to catch him in the lobby. I remember you coming to me and asking me if this was okay.
Sabrina Sajan 14:19
Yes. They wanted to catch him in our office lobby because that would be the safest way for them to confirm that they would be able to arrest him. And they didn't want to like do it outside in case he was trying to run away and stuff. And I still remember till this day the police had came four hours or five hours before this patient was going to arrive, laid out all their people. There was undercover cops throughout the entire building. There were undercover cops outside of the building. There was cops on the main street and the back street. And then we had three undercover cops sitting in our lobby.
Dr. Javad Sajan 15:02
No, I remember when they said they wanted to catch him in the lobby. I said, “No, you guys have to, I don't want to jeopardize the safety of the staff here”. So-
Sabrina Sajan 15:10
And the other patients too.
Dr. Javad Sajan 15:11
So I first said “Catch him in the lobby of the building”, but they didn't want that. Cause there were two exits. So then they agreed that they would let him come to our floor and they would try to catch him right. When he came out of the elevator. Right?
Sabrina Sajan 15:24
Correct. So they, that's why they had cops standing inside the stairwell.
Dr. Javad Sajan 15:31
So in the morning what was the atmosphere in the office? When the sting was supposed to go down?
Sabrina Sajan 15:34
It was very, everyone was super nervous. Everyone's ears, eyes, everything was open. Everyone kept looking at the window. Like when is he coming? When is he coming? When is he coming? There was three undercover cops sitting in our lobby with normal clothes, acting like patients.
Dr. Javad Sajan 15:48
The didn't look like cosmetic patients.
Sabrina Sajan 15:51
The funny part is we had another patient and another caregiver at the same time in the building and the caregiver was sitting inside one of the console rooms. I remember asking the caregiver would you like anything to drink? And the caregiver said, “No, I'm okay. Is I can ask you something”. I said, sure. “Is it what's going down?” And I said, what do you mean? There's nothing going down, normal day. You know, it just surgery day.
Dr. Javad Sajan 16:18
Doing surgeries here, nothing else.
Sabrina Sajan 16:19
Doing surgery. He's like, I know what's happening. And I was like, what do you mean? He's like, “Oh, close the door”. And I closed the door and he's like, “I'm an undercover cop”. And I'm like he's like, yeah, everyone in your lobby and outside, they're all, they all know me. I know them too. He's like, “if you guys need help, I got you”. I said, “I think we're fine”. I was like, yeah, there's something someone that they want to, he's he already, he basically knew everything because he's part of that group and he's an undercover cop himself. And he basically knew there was a sting operation happening, which was super funny.
Dr. Javad Sajan 16:53
That's so crazy.
Sabrina Sajan 16:54
Yeah. And then everyone's super nervous. And then I still remember everyone was looking at like the time was happening. It was, I think 1:00 PM that he was supposed to arrive. And it was like 12:55. And people were looking in the window and we see a car pull up to the front of our building. There was a driver there, the same person that had came to him with a console. His driver was driving the car. He came out of the car and he stepped into the building and the car drove away to park and he got into the,
Dr. Javad Sajan 17:30
And I was in surgery this time. So I was focused on my cases. I had no idea what was going on. Cause we have two operating rooms here. So two doctors doing surgery.
Sabrina Sajan 17:39
Yeah. and all the other staff knew that the sting is happening and to stay calm. And there was multiple cops and undercover cops in the building. So everything was, everyone was told to stay calm. And basically he came in, he got on the sixth floor, he came out of the elevator and the undercover cops of course, had his pictures and had the background information about it and everything. And they, within seconds, I would say within not even half a second they all, from every angle of the bill, like of the sixth floor, there was multiple cops that came in and just arrested him on the back. And then.
Dr. Javad Sajan 18:22
Did he try to run or anything?
Sabrina Sajan 18:22
No, he didn't. He just, it was really weird. We could see everything because it's clear doors. But he didn't try to fight it. He knew he was caught basically. He didn't try to fight it. He didn't say anything. He just had a bag with him and then he basically just dropped the bag. And then the funny part was right after they arrested him right outside our office. The cops are like, there's five cops standing there. And basically they see the elevator open and it's his driver.
Dr. Javad Sajan 18:58
What? And guy's on the floor getting arrested.
Sabrina Sajan 19:00
The guy's already arrested. The guy arrested and there's four cops standing there and the elevator opens and it's the driver. And right before he's about to exit. He's like hitting the button. You can hear it. That's how loud he was hitting the close door button. He was hitting so loudly. We're like, (gasp) and then you just see the door close. And the three cops ran to the stairwell. And then just after that, they like took all of those people and they laughed. And then,
Dr. Javad Sajan 19:29
They got the runner?
Sabrina Sajan 19:30
Yeah. So then after that, after about like 40 minutes, another cop came and just like confirm with us that everything is safe. We got both of them. You guys have nothing to worry about. If we need any additional information from you guys, we'll let you guys know, but we really appreciate you guys cooperating with us and helping us get this person.
Dr. Javad Sajan 19:46
That's such an incredible thing. I can't believe we were a part of some terrorist person getting arrested.
Sabrina Sajan 19:52
Oh my goodness. So wild day.
Dr. Javad Sajan 19:54
Wild. What an incredible story. What do we have in the works for our next clinic talk episode?
Sabrina Sajan 20:01
We have something called Code Brown and many more to come.
Dr. Javad Sajan 20:05
Join us for the next clinic talk episode, where we talk about Code Brown, catch us on all social media and watch me do surgery live on Snapchat @realdoctorseattle.