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Botox Bandit back in Florida facing rough patch

TAMPA — The woman authorities have dubbed the Botox Bandit was arrested again on Monday, this time for violating probation.

Deputies arrested Jaimie Merk, 33, at the Hillsborough County Courthouse on a warrant issued by the Florida Department of Corrections.

Merk, who has lived in Tampa and Clearwater, has been a fugitive from Florida since April. The Florida Department of Corrections said she moved to New York without permission and also wasn't paying restitution.

Merk made headlines in 2007 when she walked out on an $850 bill for laser treatment, a chemical peel and other procedures at a Tampa spa and plastic surgery center.

Last year, she passed a bad check for $851 at Skin NV, a South Tampa med spa. She paid the bill after the spa filed a legal complaint, amid inquiries from a Times reporter.

And in June, officials say Merk passed a worthless check at a stylish New York City spa, where she got a deep pore cleansing facial and a sea clay mask.

On Facebook, she lists her city as New York. Saturday, her status read, "Beautiful weather in NYC!! I could NOT be happier living here!!"

On Sunday, it appears she arrived in Florida. She wrote on her Facebook profile, "Its Soooo Flippin HOT here in FL!! Good thing I'm a New Yorker now and don't have to deal with this ridiculous HEAT every day!!"

On Monday, she was charged with violating probation on 10 counts of grand theft and two counts of obtaining property with a worthless check. She showed up for a hearing in Hills­borough Circuit Court on Monday, but it was continued to a later date.

In Pinellas Circuit Court on Tuesday, she paid outstanding restitution and a $500 fine, and she was released from probation, the DOC said.

It is unclear if she will be allowed to move back to New York. A DOC spokeswoman said that will be up to a judge to decide.

Merk isn't the only Florida woman dealing this week with charges of ill-gained beauty treatments.

On Tuesday, Miami police arrested Maria Chrysson, 29, on three counts of grand theft and one of scheming to defraud. An arrest affidavit lists that she twice visited a Miami-area medical spa and paid for a facial and skin creams with bad checks.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 601-3050.

Botox Bandit back in Florida facing rough patch 08/03/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 3, 2010 10:38pm]
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