She Operated In The Kitchen

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She Operated In The Kitchen
She Operated In The Kitchen

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In Krasnodar, the trial begins against Alena Verdi, a Muscovite who decided to work as a plastic surgeon without any special education. For four years - from 2015 to 2019 - Verdi disfigured women, causing them mental and physical suffering. Some of her patients, whom she sometimes operated on on the couch in the kitchen, were handicapped. The investigation managed to find six women who suffered from her "work". However, according to the victims, dozens of women suffered from the scalpel of the false surgeon. The details of the high-profile case were found out by the correspondent of "Lenta.ru" Igor Nadezhdin.

A warning:

According to Article 13 of the Federal Law "On the Fundamentals of Health Protection of Citizens in the Russian Federation", any information about the fact of a citizen's request for medical assistance, his health status and diagnosis, as well as other information obtained during his medical examination and treatment, constitutes a medical secret. Therefore, all the names of the victims in the text have been changed.

“I’m not hired to work in clinics”

The true story of this woman is still a mystery. It is only known that on May 1, 1982, a girl, Antonina Gorbunova, was born in Moscow. And in 2015, a young woman named Alena Verdi arrived in Krasnodar. In a difficult way, we managed to find out that this is one and the same person. Everything between these dates is a mystery.

In Krasnodar, Verdi immediately began to position herself as a professional plastic surgeon from Moscow, one of the best in the profession. She rented four offices in the basement of a residential building on 40 Let Pobedy Street, bought a couch, a shadowless lamp, a desk, shelves, and sets of medical instruments with personal savings, and immediately launched advertising in the local media.

Soon, patients flowed to Alena like a river. At first, she did only Botox injections, removing wrinkles, but gradually she began to provide other services - already surgical. According to Svetlana Perova, one of Verdi's former patients, the mysterious doctor was able to win over women and arouse unconditional sympathy.

I immediately believed that I was lucky to get to a good specialist - those several other doctors whom I visited before Alena did not make such a wonderful impression on me. She operated on me - thank God, it was successful. But I didn’t strive for drastic changes in appearance.

Svetlana Perova

Former patient of Alena Verdi

The fame of a good and relatively inexpensive plastic surgeon quickly spread in the most reliable way - from person to person. Moreover, Verdi herself asked her clients to talk about her. “I am not hired to work in clinics because they are afraid of competition, and I have to open a private office, and this is inconvenient for the doctor,” Alena herself explained.

In her office on 40 Let Pobeda Street there were photographs of women "before" and "after", copies of certificates, letters of thanks, but not only what was required by law: licenses for the right to provide medical care in the specialty "surgery". However, no one paid attention to this trifle.

In this room, from February 2015 to August 2016, Verdi operated on her first patients. And it is this room that is considered the site of her first crime.

She complained of ugly bumps under her skin

36-year-old Anna Andreeva met Alena Verdi in a common company at the very beginning of 2015. Alena introduced herself to her as a plastic surgeon from Moscow, who had moved to Krasnodar, and offered to saddle circular blepharoplasty - an operation to change the shape of the eyelids. And not for money, but in exchange for a reciprocal service - free hair extensions.

Anna was very worried about her appearance and turned to plastic surgeons several times before this case.In 2013, two years before the incident, she had already undergone surgery - she was injected into her lower eyelids with a filler (an injectable implant that fills aging soft tissues) for facial contouring. But she was unhappy with the result and wanted to become even better. Verdi knew about it.

The date of the operation was agreed in advance: in mid-March 2015, Alena invited Anna to her clinic on 40 Let Pobedy Street, examined her, determined the tactics of the operation and ordered her to bring the results of the necessary tests. On March 23, under local anesthesia, Verdi performed the operation on Andreeva and immediately let her go home.

On the third day, Anna came for an examination: she complained that her pain did not go away, that the lower eyelid turned out to be inverted, and ugly bumps formed under the skin. But Verdi, having made a dressing, said that all this will pass - nothing terrible happens.

Mikhail Repkin

Lieutenant Colonel of Justice, Head of the First Department for Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) for the Krasnodar Territory

On April 11, Anna again came to Verdi - and she, trying to correct what had been done, in the same basement floor accidentally touched the capsule with the implant with a scalpel, after which she was forced to remove it completely. But at the same time she cut off too much skin - and she simply could not apply a cosmetic seam.

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Doctor's diploma bought by Alena Verdi. Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation

After the operation, Alena said that she needed to observe the patient every day and brought her to her home, where Anna lived until April 21. All this time she did not see herself: her face was covered with bandages, and when the bandages were removed, Verdi forbade the patient to look in the mirror.

Only on April 21, upon arriving home, Anna discovered that her face was disfigured. The woman still does not close her eyes, and ugly scars have formed around them. Due to the spoiled appearance, Andreeva lost her job as a stylist.

This is known now, but then, in March 2015, information about the unsuccessful operation was hushed up. Andreeva herself did not want to talk about what had happened, but Verdi found and paid for a good surgeon who was able to partially correct the defects - as far as possible. Yes, and Alena's explanations were then accepted by Anna - supposedly the patient became the victim of an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances that can happen to any doctor.

The operation was carried out on the kitchen couch

Already in the summer of 2015, Verdi began to boldly advertise herself: she opened accounts in social networks, a special page on Instagram, began to buy advertising space in the press and on the streets of the city. By October 2016, she became one of the most popular plastic surgeons in Krasnodar - many women sought to get to her. Then she got a job in the clinic "Aesthetic-Med".

At that time, if you ask any woman in the Krasnodar Territory who is the most famous plastic surgeon, almost everyone would say Alena Verdi - she was so promoted. Many believed that if Verdi could afford to order advertising billboards 3 by 6 meters, then she had money. And money is a symbol of professionalism.

Svetlana Perova

Former patient of Alena Verdi

It was advertising on the streets of the city that prompted 32-year-old Bella Borisova to turn to Alena Verdi for advice - with an eye on the operation of this particular plastic surgeon. Borisova wanted to do a mastopexy - to change the shape of her breasts.

On December 22, 2016, Verdi operated on her. After that, Borisova felt unwell for several days, but she was still discharged from the clinic. And then the "doctor" invited her patient to move to her rented apartment and continue treatment there. At the same time, dressings and injections of Borodina Verdi are sometimes on the kitchen couch.

From the materials of the criminal case - testimony of the victim Bella Borisova

“On October 22, 2016, at about noon, I arrived at the Aesthetic-Med clinic and was escorted to Dr. Verdi's office.Then I drew attention to a large number of certificates and diplomas hung on the walls, but I did not look closely at them - almost all of them were on Dr. Verdi's page on the Internet, where I had already studied them.

These certificates made a favorable impression on me, because at that moment I thought that they testified to the high competence of Alena Verdi. In addition, I was met by Verdi's personal assistant, whose name I do not remember now, which also testified to high professionalism - not every doctor will be assigned a personal assistant.

Verdi examined me in the office, and then made a model of the expected results of the planned surgical intervention on the computer. In addition to mastopexy, she suggested that I do liposuction on my stomach and face along the way, as well as remove “Bish's lumps” [subcutaneous wen].

I was absolutely satisfied, received guarantees that it was Dr. Verdi who would operate on me, after which I was given a list of tests and medical examinations required before the operation. Then we set the date of the operation - December 22, 2016.

On that day, I arrived at the clinic, handed over all the collected papers (the results of tests and examinations), signed a consent for the surgical intervention, after which I went to the registry and signed a contract for the provision of medical services. I was embarrassed that the contract did not specify what specific manipulations would be carried out during the operation, but I didn’t want to find out all the details that day, as I was already morally ready for the operation. Then I paid 324,500 rubles in cash to the cashier of the medical clinic.

At about 09:00 in one of the offices I underwent surgical premedication, and at about 10:00 I myself went into the operating room. There was an anesthesiologist named Stanislav, two nurses and a plastic surgeon Alena Verdi. I was given intubation anesthesia, after which I fell asleep. I woke up at about 22:00 and was told that the operation lasted 12 hours. Later, when I was discharged, I paid another 24 thousand rubles for anesthesia - also in cash.

After the operations, I felt unwell for several days: my body temperature remained at about 39 degrees, I periodically lost consciousness, my face and body were swollen, and numerous hematomas appeared at the sites of surgical interventions.

Despite this, the clinic's management insisted on my discharge home on December 25, the third day after the operation.

In this regard, Verdi suggested that I move in with her and continue treatment in her rented apartment on Cherkasskaya Street in Krasnodar. I stayed here until December 31, dressings and injections were given to me by Verdi - on the sofa in the room or in the kitchen. She did not allow me to look in the mirror. On December 31, I felt better, I went home."

Bella spent all the holidays with Verdi and her boyfriend named Dmitry. They even went to the Karachay-Cherkess Republic together. It was there that on January 7, Bella's postoperative suture split on her chest. Verdi came to her hotel, where she treated the wound. And on January 10, after returning to Krasnodar, Alena Verdi sutured a seam in her apartment.

The operation was carried out at Verdi's home, on the sofa in the kitchen - because Alena did not want to be found out about the complications at the clinic where she worked then.

Bella Borisova

Victim in the Alena Verdi case

The patient's condition did not improve, and on January 15, the suture broke for the third time - and again it was sutured in the kitchen in Verdi's apartment. Nevertheless, the wound did not heal until April, and all this time the woman had edema and pain increased.

Three years after the operation, when forensic experts begin to describe the injuries, they will note that Borisova has a pronounced asymmetry of the face, both mammary glands, extensive scars on the scalp, face, chest and abdomen, and some of them are still not allows the victim of an unsuccessful operation to fully straighten.

Scars will be found not only on the surface of the body, but also inside, in the abdominal muscles - in case of pregnancy, these damages will hinder the development and growth of the child.

“Also, a persistent indelible deformation of the shoulder contours was noted, the wrong choice of suture material provoked a prolonged inflammatory process of the left breast, which caused the formation of fibroblasts. One ear, as a result of surgery, is located lower than the other, its lobe has grown together with the soft tissues of the face. " The full damage description takes almost 20 pages and is depressing.

And in March 2017, Verdi herself suggested Bella Borisova to do a few more plastic surgeries, arguing that there are now big discounts in the clinic, and she will also correct some of the previous mistakes.

It should be noted that Verdi promised to borrow the remaining amount - 70 thousand rubles, so Bella will have to contribute “only” 48 thousand. For this money, she was promised to fix the nasal septum (rhinoseptoplasty), change the shape of the eyelids (blepharoplasty), correct the shape of the eyebrows (endoscopic lifting) and improve the shape of the mouth (bullhorn).

On March 31, Borisov was operated on again - but this time no contract was concluded with her, so she was not given a check. The operation lasted nine hours - but as a result, new ones were added to the previous damage. “All of these injuries were the result of an incorrectly performed operation,” the doctors will conclude later. But Bella returned all the borrowed money to Alena.

The majority of specialists both in Russia and abroad refused to correct the consequences of two unsuccessful surgical interventions. Only in June 2019, in one of the capital's clinics in Borisova, some of the injuries will be corrected and the drainage forgotten during the operation will be removed from her body - a fragment of a surgical glove 27 centimeters long. Nevertheless, giving birth to Bella is still categorically contraindicated.

The nose spread, ugly scars appeared

Bella Borisova was still treated by Verdi in the kitchen, and 35-year-old Vera Volodina has already turned to the clinic. Volodina learned about the "wonderful plastic surgeon" and decided to make her old dream come true: to make a correction of the upper eyelids. She, the owner of a fashionable beauty salon, thought that changing her appearance would have a beneficial effect on her business.

On March 3, 2017 Vera came to the clinic for the first time - especially to Verdi. During the examination, she convinced the patient that she could simultaneously correct the shape of the nose, removing the hump and reducing the wings of the nose - allegedly Volodina's nose disfigured her. The operation was scheduled for March 25, 2017; its cost was 175 thousand rubles.

The woman was operated on on the appointed day - but, as the experts would later establish, the cartilage was cleaned incorrectly and the hump did not go away, but the wings of the nose, on the contrary, spread out. In addition, ugly scars formed. According to the experts, the victim suffered serious harm to her health.

Mikhail Repkin

Lieutenant Colonel of Justice, Head of the First Department for Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) for the Krasnodar Territory

After the operation, Vera was discharged home on the same day - but on the fifth day complications began: her temperature rose to 38, an ichor began to leak from her nose, and ugly swelling developed on her face. Verdi promised that soon all this will pass, but in May 2018 Volodina demanded to correct all the shortcomings. She called Verdi and found out that she had already quit the Aesthetic-Med clinic, because she opened her office in Moscow - and only occasionally accepts patients privately in her Krasnodar apartment on the Kubanskaya Naberezhnaya.

Vera, at the direction of Verdi, bought a package of a very strong glucosteroid drug, which Alena injected twice in the patient's face in her kitchen.Alena claimed that this medicine would remove swelling and restore nasal sensitivity - but as a result, the patient developed serious complications: thickening of the mucous membrane of both maxillary sinuses, deep cyst and chronic sinusitis. She completely stopped breathing one nostril and still wakes up often from suffocation.

In addition, due to these operations, Volodina literally turned out to be disfigured, due to which she developed a serious mental illness. The business has collapsed, Vera has not allowed her husband to come to her for two years, but he has not left her.

Disability instead of beauty

50-year-old Galina Glebova really wanted to have an abdominoplasty - to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen in order to look younger. A poster accidentally noticed by her and reviews on the Internet (on Verdi's personal page on Instagram at that moment there were already more than 13 thousand enthusiastic subscribers) determined her choice.

On April 25, 2017, in the clinic on Oleg Koshevoy Street, Alena Verdi performed an operation on the patient. Galina paid 162 thousand rubles for it. On April 28, she was discharged - despite the fact that she could not straighten her back, and the temperature periodically rose above 38 degrees.

After discharge, Glebova continued to feel worse and worse: suppuration began, extensive and painful hematomas appeared, and on May 5 a huge lump formed on her thigh. Verdi called the patient to her home - and once again performed the operation on the kitchen couch …

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One of the many results of Alena Verdi's work. Frame: Russia 1

On May 11, 2017, an ambulance team took Galina to an infectious diseases hospital, where doctors diagnosed her with a festering chemical burn of a postoperative scar and a protrusion of the muscles of the umbilical ring. In June, forensic doctors identified a direct causal relationship between the operation and the complications that arose.

Liquid with an unpleasant odor from Glebova's wounds flowed out until August 2017, but she could not straighten up: later doctors will reveal functional changes in her spine, which were the result of the operation. And ugly scars formed on the body - one of them was caused by a chemical burn due to an unidentified drug.

Glebova still cannot not only lie on her stomach, but even wear clothes - any touch of the fabric causes pain. And in September 2019, she will be diagnosed with a huge umbilical hernia - also the consequences of that operation. In fact, the woman became disabled.

Verdi ran out into the street without entering our offices

Meanwhile, in September 2017, a completely predictable turn took place in the career of the false surgeon Alena Verdi: her next patient died.

On September 14, 2017, at the Esthetic-Med clinic, Verdi performed an abdominoplasty operation on a 33-year-old local woman. The next day, the woman died in the clinic ward - according to forensic experts, due to acute massive blood loss, the source of which was the operating field - the right side of the lower horizontal surgical wound.

The immediate cause of death was acute hemorrhagic shock. A direct causal relationship was established between the actions of the surgeon and the onset of death. A criminal case was immediately opened, and soon Alena Verdi was charged under Article 109 ("Causing death by negligence") of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, at the same time in September 2017, Ivan Minenko, one of the anesthesiologists working there, was appointed the head physician of the Estetik-Med clinic. And he immediately decided to dispel the numerous doubts that arose in him about the qualifications of Dr. Verdi: he raised her personal file, took copies of all medical documentation and sent requests to all educational institutions indicated in it.

Inquiries, in particular, went to the Bogomolets Kiev National Medical Academy, where he allegedly received higher education from Verdi, as well as to the Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Research Clinical Institute (MONIKI), the Medical Institute of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) and the Kuban State Medical Institute - there were issued certificates of training and advanced training of plastic surgeon Alena Verdi.

After the death of the patient, on November 9, 2017, the first answer came to the Aesthetic-Med clinic - from Kuban honey.It reported that Alena Verdi had never studied there, and a certificate with the same number as hers had never been issued. Ivan Minenko summoned Verdi and immediately announced her dismissal.

From the materials of the criminal case - testimony of Marina Selyukova, personal administrator of Alena Verdi

“At the end of 2017, I can't give the exact date now, Alena Verdi suddenly had a conflict with the new chief doctor of the clinic, Ivan Minenko. He called her to his place, and after the conversation she immediately ran out into the street, without going into our offices. Then she called me on her personal cell and asked me to leave.

On the street, Verdi asked me to collect all her personal belongings, put them in a box and take them out to her. She also stated that she no longer intends to cross the threshold of the "Aesthetic-Med" clinic. She did not tell me anything about the reasons for the conflict. Only some time later, Ivan Minenko said that he had requested data on Alena Verdi's education and received official replies that she had not studied there. During her work, no one knew about it."

The criminal case on the death of the patient was investigated and sent to court. But it did not contain any information about Alena Verdi's fake diplomas: after all, all copies of the documents were issued to the investigator as official - and therefore she was tried as a full-fledged surgeon. In addition, the clinic paid the damage to the relatives of the deceased: officially - 345 thousand rubles, but, according to rumors, we are talking about a much larger amount.

As a result, the Leninsky District Court of Krasnodar, on March 12, 2018, terminated the criminal proceedings on the death of the patient, and sentenced Verdi to a court fine of 150 thousand rubles. She paid this money on March 31, immediately after the entry into force of the court decision.

A court fine is a measure of legal responsibility recently introduced into the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The person to whom he is appointed is completely exempted from criminal prosecution immediately after payment of the money and is considered to be without conviction. In that situation, for Alena Verdi, it was a real salvation.

A life broken by a scalpel

The fifth victim of Verdi was 32-year-old wrestling coach Daria Danilova, who for many years wanted to change her appearance - more precisely, her stomach. She chose a doctor for a long time and in February 2017 she stopped at Alena. Then Danilova came to Verdi for a consultation: Dasha wanted to remove fat from her belly and move her navel to a geometrically precise place. The "doctor" said it was possible.

The preparation process for the operation was delayed, and only on October 3, 2017 (after the death of the patient in the clinic, but even before the official answers on Verdi's education) Danilova provided all the certificates, paid 245 thousand rubles and was operated on the same day.

And then everything repeated according to the already familiar scheme: on October 5, despite the disgusting condition, the patient was discharged from the clinic "Aesthetic-Med", after which she developed infectious complications - necrosis and intradermal suppuration. Since October 2017, for six months, Danilova has been driving to Verdi's home, where she pumps out liquid for her.

True, the "doctor" honestly admits that she had a conflict with the administration of the clinic and she "temporarily does not work" there. In 2018, the Aesthetic-Med clinic will try to correct Verdi's mistakes - but it turns out that this is impossible.

As a result, Danilova still cannot eat normally: if the portion of food is a little more scanty, her stomach cannot stretch due to the consequences of the operation - there is severe pain in the intestines and muscles.

For the same reasons, Daria cannot breathe deeply, she stopped intimate relations with her husband (any touch on her stomach and hips causes pain) - and, as a result, she got a mental breakdown. In addition, a liquid with an unpleasant odor periodically flows out of the scars left after the operation. Danilova's work as a wrestling coach is also over.

It was at her statement that a criminal case will be initiated against Verdi in March 2019.

The patient's condition has deteriorated markedly

A resident of Novorossiysk, Elena Emelin, was operated on for the first time by Verdi on April 14, 2017, having made her rhinoseptoplasty with osteotomy (correction of the shape of the nose) - she specially came to the famous doctor in Krasnodar. The cost of the contract was 136 thousand rubles.

At first, the woman did not notice any serious problems, but about Verdi's edema she said that “within a year it will come down”. But by the summer it turned out that the girl's nasal breathing was disturbed, her nose was slightly twisted to the side, and besides, she began to hear worse with one ear.

The woman wanted to correct all the shortcomings, and Verdi promised her this - but at first they expected some kind of complete healing, and then Verdi was fired from the clinic. She told Elena that she had stopped working at the Krasnodar clinic, returned to Moscow and invited her to come there or wait for Verdi to be in Krasnodar.

Mikhail Repkin

Lieutenant Colonel of Justice, Head of the First Department for Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) for the Krasnodar Territory

On January 14, 2018 Elena received a message in WatsApp: "I am in Krasnodar, this week it is necessary to carry out a correction." We agreed that the operation will be carried out on January 18 in Verdi's apartment on the Kubanskaya Embankment. During interrogations on this episode, the pseudo-surgeon says that she performed the operation under local anesthesia and does not remember that there were strangers in the apartment at that moment.

True, Emelina tells about that day a little differently: allegedly Verdi operated on her in the closet, and another patient - Daria Danilova - shone the "doctor" with a flashlight of her mobile phone.

From the materials of the criminal case - testimony of the victim Elena Emelina

“At about 14:00 I came to Verdi's apartment. Alena immediately began to tell me that my blood tests were bad, and then gave me some kind of pill, ostensibly to calm me down. But after I swallowed this medicine, literally in a few seconds I began to faint.

After some time, I woke up - and found that I was lying in the closet in Verdi's apartment, and she was doing rhinoseptoplasty to me. At the same time, the lantern on Verdi's head did not burn, and someone whom Alena called "Dasha" was shining a flashlight on her mobile phone.

Later, Daria Danilova will tell me that it was she - she came to Verdi's apartment once again to pump fluid from her stomach, and at that moment Verdi's headlamp broke. The operation ended at about 19:00 on the same day, and I went home to Novorossiysk. On the same day, I paid Verdi 30 thousand rubles by transferring them to a bank card."

According to the experts, neither the first nor the second operation did any good for Emelina: after the first, a slight deviation of the nose to the left became pronounced, and after the second, during which Verdi removed the nose frame, it simply failed. Multiple well-visible scars with a length of 5 to 15 millimeters appeared.

In addition, during the intervention, the patient's nasal valve was damaged and stopped working, and a secondary curvature of the nasal septum appeared: “the expected result was not achieved, on the contrary - the patient's condition deteriorated markedly both from a functional and a medical point of view”. Modern medicine is unable to correct most of these consequences.

This happens with every doctor

Then 37-year-old Alena Verdi was detained on April 3, 2019 - she was going to fly to Israel and never return to her homeland. On April 5, the court arrested her: the woman spent 10 months in the pre-trial detention center.

Until the end of 2019, the position of the defense of the accused was based on the fact that all patients themselves turned to her for help - and she did not abandon any of them until they refused her services after the end of treatment.

At the same time, Verdi explains all postoperative defects by a coincidence of a set of reasons: most often by the fact that patients refused to comply with the prescriptions.They say that some continued to smoke, although it was forbidden, others slept on their stomachs, and one of the victims generally hid diabetes.

“This has happened with every doctor. Especially with plastic surgeons. These are not crimes, these are peculiarities of human health, and any doctor is powerless here,”Verdi said.

During interrogations, Verdi behaved extremely impudently, repeatedly threatened to go on hunger strike, declared that her competitors had ordered the criminal case. Her words had to be constantly refuted by documents.

Ella Tyukova

Official representative of the Investigative Department of the TFR in the Krasnodar Territory

And only when the investigation received irrefutable information that every one of the diplomas and certificates was forged - Alena Verdi began to cooperate and told how exactly she acquired the documents necessary for work.

From the materials of the criminal case - testimony of the accused Alena Verdi dated March 3, 2020, one month before the end of the investigation

“In 2013 or 2014, I accidentally found out that a certain company was manufacturing fake higher education diplomas. This company was located in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, but now I just do not remember its name. I contacted this company via the Internet, said that I wanted to have a diploma of a plastic surgeon and I was told that the diploma would be sent to me by mail cash on delivery. They only asked me to send my photo and passport details.

A few weeks later, a diploma came to me by mail, which testified that in the period from 1999 to 2005 I studied at the medical faculty of the Oleksandr Bogomolets National Medical University in Kiev, specializing as a doctor, and it indicated my current passport data: Alena Dmitrievna Verdi, although at that time I had a different name and surname - Antonina Dmitrievna Gorbunova.

During these years I lived in Russia, and I went to Ukraine only from time to time, to see my relatives who lived in Dnepropetrovsk. In addition to photography, the diploma also contained the signatures of the university staff and the seal. I paid 100-150 thousand rubles for the diploma, I don't remember the exact amount now.

In the fall of 2017, before getting a job at the Aesthetic-Med plastic surgery clinic, I learned that, in addition to a diploma of higher medical education, it is necessary to submit an internship or residency diploma in the specialty of plastic surgery. Then, through my acquaintances, who exactly - I don't remember now, I found the phone number of people who in the city of Krasnodar are ready to make the relevant documents without going through actual training, that is, fake.

After a while, I was given the number of an electronic wallet and I transferred the required amount - how much, I don't remember now. A few days later, the dispatcher contacted me, who said that a taxi would come to her, the driver of which would hand over the package. It contained documents about my medical education. (…) I presented these documents to the clinic "Aesthetic-Med" and never used them anywhere else."

Now only six victims appear in the criminal case, according to the statements of two more, the criminal case was terminated due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The examination found no signs of harm to health in the ninth woman.

During the investigation of the criminal case, we identified all the victims who were harmed by the actions of the false surgeon. Criminal investigation officers worked actively - but no other victims were found. Perhaps because many women themselves do not want to talk about what happened.

Mikhail Repkin

Lieutenant Colonel of Justice, Head of the First Department for Investigation of Particularly Important Cases of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR) for the Krasnodar Territory

But in fact, Verdi's victims are much more - according to the same Svetlana Perova, more than 20 residents of the Krasnodar Territory said that their appearance was seriously damaged.

Surprisingly, Alena Verdi has twice won regional competitions: "The Best Plastic Surgeon of the Southern Federal District of 2017" (the "Grace" competition) and "The Best Plastic Surgeon for Breast Shaping 2018".

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Photo: Alena Verdi's page on VKontakte

At the same time, she was awarded the first prize at the moment when she was accused in the case of the death of a patient and had already been fired from the clinic, the head doctor of which knew that her certificates were fake. And the second Verdi prize was given literally on the eve of his arrest. Of course, the accused could not help but use these prizes in her defense.

Currently, Alena Verdi has been prosecuted under article 238 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Provision of services that do not meet safety requirements that entail the infliction of grievous bodily harm”). Due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, her criminal prosecution for the use of false documents (Article 327 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) was terminated. The case has already been sent to court, and Alena Verdi is currently under house arrest. The process promises to be loud.

"Lost" documents

In this whole story, the behavior of the medical community remained behind the scenes. There are no groups in support of Alena Verdi in the network, and individual replicas of bloggers registered on medical platforms do not count. There were no mass campaigns in support of Verdi: the complaints of patients were too obvious, and plastic surgery itself is a very peculiar branch of medicine.

Meanwhile, when the investigators came to search the building on Oleg Koshevoy Street in Krasnodar, where the Estetik-Med clinic was located (now it has already changed its name), it turned out that every one of the operating logs “died” as a result of the heating pipe burst, about which the corresponding act was drawn up. Therefore, it was simply not possible to establish the circle of all patients of the false doctor Verdi.

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Alena Verdi in the courtroom. Frame: Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in Krasnodar Territory

When the director of this clinic found that Alena Verdi's certificates were forged, he fired her - but did not tell anyone that the doctor was an impostor. Knowing that even according to her diploma, she is just a specialist doctor who has not completed an internship and has no specialization. And not even a surgeon, and even more so - not a plastic surgeon.

The management of the clinic "Aesthetic-Med" tried to discharge all patients with complications home as quickly as possible, although medical ethics and deontology (the code of relations between a doctor and a patient) require exactly the opposite - as well as common sense. But the fear of possible trouble outweighed the requirements of both morality and the law.

The media have repeatedly shown stories about victims at the hands of a false surgeon: the victims turned to journalists, fearing that Verdi would evade criminal responsibility. When the content of the articles and stories was reported to the chairman of the TFR, Alexander Bastrykin, he took the investigation under personal control. The Verdi case was transferred to the department for especially important cases of the regional department of the TFR.

As for the medical community, it, in fact, like its individual representatives, preferred to turn a blind eye to the nasty sheep in its ranks, and in this case, frankly forgot about corporate solidarity, ethics and deontology.

Today, Internet search engines give out more than 30 links to sites for the request “buy a doctor's diploma”, where for about 20 thousand rubles you can purchase a completed form of the Goznak factory with the desired profession or any certificates of specialists. This is how the merchants explain the demand:

“A specialist who has already acquired certain knowledge necessary for performing professional duties can buy a doctor's diploma or buy a college diploma. For him, acquiring a "crust" is a formality that allows him to overcome obstacles on the way to moving up the career ladder.

The specialists of our company will easily help you become the owner of the required document.We offer you a document on the present letterhead of the Goznak factory, which will not raise doubts about its authenticity."

Once there is supply, there is demand. The offered diplomas are outwardly really indistinguishable from the real ones. The choice is institute, year of receipt, specialization. It is interesting that the names of the chairmen of state commissions are authentic.

And this is scary.

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