AG files lawsuit against plastic surgery provider for threatening patients to falsely inflate online ratings

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a lawsuit Thursday against a Seattle-based plastic surgery provider for "falsely and illegally" inflating its ratings on online platforms such as Yelp and Google. 

The lawsuit is against Seattle-based Allure Esthetic and its owner, Dr. Javad Sajan. It claimed that the company threatened its patients into removing negative reviews and ordered its employees to post fake post reviews. 

The Attorney General's Office received four complaints from patients alerting the office to Allure’s practices.

One former employee said she quit because "she felt it was unethical and deceptive to alter photos to that extent, especially knowing that most consumers rely on before and after photos when choosing a surgeon for cosmetic surgery." And of the company's in-house attorneys left over the concerns of Allure's NDA practices. 

Some of the claims include: 

  • Requiring patients to sign unlawful non-disclosure agreements, before receiving any treatment, that restrict them from posting truthful reviews about their experiences with Allure. Over 10,000 people signed these NDAs.
  • Threatening to take legal action against patients, telling some patients it would sue them for monetary damages if they refused to delete their negative reviews.
  • Offering patients cash and free services or products for taking down their negative reviews.
  • Requiring patients who accepted these bribes to sign a second non-disclosure agreement stating they could face a $250,000 lawsuit if they continue to post negative reviews.
  • Editing "before and after" photos to make the results of its procedures look better than they actually were.
  • Applying for rebates on behalf of its patients without their consent and keeping those rebates. Allure used hundreds of fake email accounts to register for rebate programs intended for real patients. Allure received thousands of dollars every month from these rebates — rebates that should have gone to patients.

"Threatening and bribing customers to prevent them from sharing the truth about their experience isn’t just wrong — it’s illegal," Ferguson said. "Patients rely on reviews to determine if a healthcare provider is right for them, and using legal threats and bribes to manipulate those reviews is deceptive and harms Washingtonians. We are taking action to stop these unethical and illegal practices." 

Allure has multiple offices in Western Washington, with locations in Seattle, Lynnwood and Kirkland. 

If you've been impacted in this case and would like to share your story, email FOX 13's Nia Wong. 

Complaints can be filed with the Office of the Attorney General here.