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South Florida man guilty of kidnapping, blow-torching plastic surgeon in warehouse then abandoning him at strip club

Serge Nkorina

Jay Weaver

Miami Herald

A South Florida man was convicted this week of a violent kidnapping of a plastic surgeon who had treated his wife.

Serge Nkorina, 56, who was extradited from Spain in January, faced trial in Miami federal court on kidnapping charges involving the 2019 abduction of the physician at a Walmart near his Hallandale Beach medical practice.

A federal jury found that Nkorina and a partner abducted the doctor at gunpoint and later tortured him inside a storage warehouse with a blowtorch in an attempt to extort tens of thousands of dollars from him. The two men aborted their plan when they could not gain entrance to the doctor’s home and then abandoned him in his car in the parking lot of a strip club, according to trial evidence.

Nkorina, who was found guilty Tuesday of two counts of conspiracy and kidnapping, faces a maximum term of life in prison at his sentencing hearing Feb. 15, 2022 before U.S. District Judge Paul Huck.

Nkorina, a U.S. citizen, was accused of partnering with another South Florida man, Justin Boccio, who had already pleaded guilty before trial in the FBI kidnapping conspiracy case brought by assistant U.S. attorneys Robert F. Moore and Marc Chattah.

On Jan. 15, 2019, police were called to the parking lot of Cheetah Gentleman’s Club in Hallandale Beach because a car horn was sounding continuously. When officers arrived, they found a person in the front seat of the car with his hands and feet bound. The victim also had burns and lacerations, according to court records.

The kidnapping victim was Dr. Nader Shehata. Shehata said he was taken at gunpoint from Walmart, forced into a van rented from Budget and blindfolded. He was then tied up and repeatedly shocked with a Taser, according to investigators. His captors told him they’d kill him if he didn’t give them money, they said.

Shehata was taken to a storage facility in Margate, where his hands were burned with a blowtorch and he was hit by the suspects, who were trying to get information that would lead them to the doctor’s money at his home, investigators said. Their plan backfired when they couldn’t get into the home. They then left the physician tied up in his car in the Cheetah parking lot.

In December 2019, Nkorina’s co-defendant, Justin Boccio, 34, of Deerfield Beach, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on kidnapping charges. Nkorina, who fled the country after the kidnapping but was arrested in Spain last year, was flown to Miami in January of this year.

Shehata, the physician, survived the kidnapping trauma but was later charged with an unrelated federal crime.

Shehata, a doctor known for his prolific Botox practice, was charged in October 2020 with failing to have legal Rx labels on his prescription drugs for injections to smooth out patients’ wrinkles. Shehata, 63, pleaded guilty to using misbranded Botox prescription drugs at his practice, Derma Laser Center. He received a probationary sentence.

According to an obituary notice, Shehata died in April of this year.

©2021 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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