A federal judge sentenced Maria Gabriela Hashemipour to house arrest and five years’ probation Monday. Hashemipour—a celebrity esthetician known better as “Gabriela Perez” to her wealthy clientele—pleaded guilty to credit card fraud back in January.
When she wasn’t giving celebrities facials at Chez Gabriela Studio, Hashemipour was screwing them, uh, metaphorically. She apparently scribbled down the credit card numbers of clients like Penelope Cruz, Anne Hathaway, and Cher, then charged her victims repeatedly for treatments they hadn’t actually received. Chez Gabriela especially had it out for Liv Tyler, bilking Liv’s AmEx between June and November 2009 to the tune of $214,000.
If you ask me, Hashemipour’s scam hardly ends there. Here’s her description of her own work (emphases mine):
With special skin care techniques and hand manipulations, Gabriela Perez developed a personal and particular style that put her on the leading edge of beauty care today, referred to now as a “skin artist.”
Wow! Definitely totally legitimate. Tell me, Ms. Hashemipour, what other treatments and services can I expect from Chez Gabriela?
Well, Jenn, I’m glad you asked. The “Basic” “Gabriela” “Facial” runs between $500 and $1,900, depending on the price I cite during your consultation (and don’t think I haven’t noticed that your pores are lousy). Similarly, the “Double” Facial begins at $800 and ends at $3,000. It’s like the Basic, except that it includes high-tech lasers.
The “Diamond Powder” Treatment begins at $3,000, and it utilizes actual diamond powder, which are particles ordinarily used to polish stone and cement. What could possibly make the crags of your face more radiant than actual diamonds! I’ll tell you: the “Platinum Celebrity” Treatment, beginning at $6,000, which uses still more diamond powder, platinum and gold, plus the high-tech lasers I mentioned before, and also stem cell serums!! Also, ask me about the Anti-Adiposity ultrasound treatment! I sell toner for $450!! My “Paradise Cream” is only $3,200!!! I’ll even add acid peels, collagen, and fat injections to your order!!!!!
Then there’s the “Rebirth and Redemption” Treatment, which uses European gold flakes, essence of frankincense and myrrh, and my patented syringe of Baby Jesus Tears!!!!!!!
I made up the last one.
My point: it’s only criminal to invent procedures and charge celebrities without their knowledge, apparently. Inventing bullshit and charging celebrities with their consent, however? Totally OK.