Fake Doctor Pleads Guilty in Patient's Death

Oct. 16, 2006 — -- A fake doctor and cocaine addict pleaded guiltyMonday in connection with the death of a woman who died during amedical procedure he was performing on her in his Manhattanapartment more than two years ago.

Dean Faiello, 47, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in thedeath of Maria Cruz, 35, in exchange for a sentence of 20 years inprison. The charge says he acted under conditions showing a"depraved indifference to human life."

Cruz, a Barclay's Capital financial analyst, went to Faiello'sWest 16th Street apartment on April 13, 2003, for laser treatmentsof hair growth on her tongue. He admitted he began by injecting herwith the anesthetic Lidocaine.

Faiello, questioned by state Supreme Court Justice GregoryCarro, admitted that after Cruz began having seizures, he called areal doctor for advice, and then ignored the advice. He said healso failed to call 911.

Faiello had already been indicted in October 2002 for practicingmedicine without a license. He said he failed to contact anybody tohelp Cruz because he was worried about the legal "ramifications"for himself.

Assistant District Attorney Ann Prunty asked Faiello, "In fact,she died in that apartment?"

"That's correct," the defendant replied.

Carro asked Faiello whether he was, at that time, "addicted tococaine, using cocaine," and the defendant replied, "Yes, that istrue."

Cruz' body was found Feb. 18, 2004, under a concrete slab in thebasement of Faiello's former home in Newark, N.J., 10 months aftershe vanished.

Faiello, meanwhile, fled to Central America after pleadingguilty in June 2003 to the unlicensed practice of medicine charge,which is punishable by up to four years in prison. In May 2004, hewas extradited from Costa Rica where he had been working as a go-godancer in a bar.

Faiello's attorney left court without comment.