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Action News exposes Lasik Institute president's lavish lifestyle
an ABC Action News report 7/23/03
related story: Trying to get LVI's advertised rates for Lasik? Good luck (7/22/03)

TAMPA - Marco Musa's Florida-based optical empire has been the focus of state and federal investigations, but somehow, he has managed to stay in business and make millions in the process.

Musa is the president of LVI, the Lasik Vision Institute. He runs several companies from his headquarters in Lake Worth.

"I also own a chain of optical stores. We have investments in real estate, we have an over $200-million company, so it's hard to keep an eye on absolutely every little detail of what goes on," he said.

Action News investigator Mike Mason offered to fill Musa in on some of the problems at his Tampa Lasik facility. Mike interviewed six patients who went there for Lasik surgery on the same day, and they all got terrible eye infections.

"I only did this for the convenience of not having to wear contact lenses, and now I am in worse shape than before I started," explained patient Kathy Jasmin, who now wishes she never went there.

Each time Mike asked Musa a question, he got the same answer.

"What I can tell you is, from my experience, from our research and from everyone we've talked to, is the Lasik Vision Institute offers the very most experienced surgeons, which is the most important thing in any patient's mind," he repeatedly spouted.

Musa must know something about what's important to patients. He's been very successful, for years.

He owns Eyeglass World, an optical chain store. At one point, he had 50 outlets in 17 states.

Musa also owns LVI. Aside from the office in Tampa, there are others popping up throughout the country. Musa now owns 119 centers in 37 states.

With business booming, Musa has been spending his money, buying a Bentley and other luxury automobiles. He's also renovating a multi-million-dollar mansion -- prime property in Palm Beach County.

Musa's oceanfront mansion is being renovated.
Musa has a beautiful view of the ocean. Meanwhile, Kathy Jasmin can barely see a thing, and she is certainly not making millions.

"I had just taken my real estate exam, gotten my license, was all set to start working. And at this point, I can't put anybody in my car and drive them around. I can barely drive myself around," Kathy continued.

Medical officials warn: before having Lasik surgery, you should always investigate the company first.

One option is checking out a company with the local Better Business Bureau. According to the Bay area BBB, LVI's Tampa office has an unsatisfactory record because of unanswered consumer complaints.

Related link: Bay area Better Business Bureau:

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