Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Probe of skin cream sales leads to Thonotosassa mansion

THONOTOSASSA — Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating the sale of prescription skin products from behind the walls of a $1.4 million mansion in Thonotosassa.

The goods, which sell for as much as $94 a tube, promise to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. The issue? They require prescriptions, according to an affidavit recently filed in court. The document states that undercover investigators obtained several face creams without a prescription.

The Hillsborough Sheriff's Office said it is investigating a case where at least one person may have been illegally obtaining and distributing prescription medicines, spokesman J.D. Callaway said. He would not provide specifics, saying it's an active investigation, and no arrests have been made.

Several attempts to reach representatives of the company named in the affidavit, Complete Skin Care, were unsuccessful.

According to an affidavit the Sheriff's Office filed in court, its five-month investigation started with a tip to a Florida Department of Health investigator. The tipster said several Florida-based websites were selling prescription skin care products to people without prescriptions, the affidavit states.

Investigators ordered the creams and entered them as evidence. A deputy went undercover as a postal worker in June and showed up at the Thonotosassa mansion to pick up orders.

Last week, investigators seized computers, records and about 500 packages of skin care products, a returned search warrant states.

Even the guard at the entrance to the exclusive Stonelake Ranch neighborhood seemed to know that a mail-order business was operating out of that two-story house on Stonelake Ranch Boulevard, according to an affidavit.

When the undercover deputy showed up in June and pointed to other undercover investigators, who also appeared to be postal workers, the unnamed guard told the deputy that she would definitely need help, considering the number of packages shipped from the house.

Sheriff's Office records indicate that a deputy responded to the house for a call about fraud on Jan. 20, but details on that case were not available, a Sheriff's Office records employee said, because the case is still open.

In March, a Department of Health investigator went to one of the websites the tipster named and placed an order for the Obagi Nu-Derm Blender — a nighttime cream that contains 4 percent of the skin bleaching agent hydroquinone, the affidavit states.

In the affidavit, a deputy wrote that "the website did not request nor require him to answer any questions, submit any medical history or make personal or telephone contact with the subject pharmacy, or submit a valid prescription."

A Florida Department of Health spokeswoman declined to comment, saying that state law prohibits the department from discussing complaints or investigations "until probable cause is found," she said.

The affidavit states that when the investigator received the 2-ounce bottle, which cost $75.40, he noticed the return address was to a P.O. box in Thonotosassa and the label referenced a different website:

The bottle said "RX ONLY," the court records state, and its label didn't include the vendor's name, doctor's name, patient's name or date dispensed.

Investigators made three additional orders from complete two for Obagi brand Nu-Derm Blender and one for a tretinoin cream, which is a vitamin-A derivative and requires a prescription.

A deputy used postal records to trace the shipping to the Stonelake Ranch Boulevard home, and undercover investigators went to the home in June, posing as postal workers. There, the deputy picked up several sacks filled with boxes containing skin care products, the affidavit said.

State records show that a person named Robin Milata owns a company called Complete Skin Care, and her address is listed as the same Stonelake Ranch Home that deputies searched Wednesday, according to Florida Division of Corporations records. She owns the home with her husband, Patrick Milata, according to property appraiser records.

The manager of Complete Skin Care is Robin Milata's sister, Kim George, state records show.

A woman who answered the company's toll-free phone number Friday said that neither Robin nor Kim were available, and she took a message. The call was not returned.

Later in the day, a woman who said she was Kim George answered the phone and after listening to a reporter's request, put the reporter on hold. After almost four minutes, the call dropped. A message was not returned.

Additional attempts to reach the Milatas and George were not successful.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Alexandra Zayas contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Probe of skin cream sales leads to Thonotosassa mansion 07/26/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 26, 2010 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  2. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona


    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand


    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  5. Hillsborough County erects wooden barrier to protect Confederate monument from vandalism

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County workers began constructing a wooden barrier around the base of the Confederate monument by the old county courthouse Thursday evening.

    A Hillsborough County construction crew erects a wooden barrier around the Confederate monument at the old county courthouse Thursday, out of concern about potential vandalism. [Courtesy of WTSP]