2 Sentenced for Smuggling Counterfeit Medicines Into US Via Internet
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Two Israeli citizens pleaded guilty to smuggling counterfeit and misbranded drugs in the US.
The Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) explained that "both men operated an Internet business in Israel that used multiple websites, including 'allpillsrx.com,' 'newpharm.net,' and others to illegally sell large amounts of prescription drugs to U.S. purchasers, including approximately 9,029 separate drug shipments...generating approximately $1,475,363 in gross proceeds."
Said OCI, "Carmi and Dahan were prosecuted after the Government conducted a series of 'undercover' purchases of drugs with some of defendant’s Internet websites, and repeatedly ordered various prescription drugs and controlled substances...without providing a valid prescription from any qualified health care professional."
Carmi and Dahan shipped drug packages to addresses located in the Eastern District of Missouri containing various prescription drugs, typically containing drugs imported from China and India.
Laboratory testing of the drugs received revealed that these drugs were counterfeits and were also "sub-potent, containing less than the amount of active drug ingredient than what was specified in the labeling for the drugs," reported OCI.
"Counterfeit pharmaceuticals pose a very serious threat to our public health and safety," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) Chicago office. "People shouldn't have to put their health in jeopardy because they bought a prescription drug online that is fake, substandard, tainted or untested. HSI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to keep imposter drugs off the street and aggressively pursue those who place consumers at risk for their own financial gain."
Benny Carmi admitted to introducing misbranded prescription drugs into interstate commerce, smuggled prescription drugs into the U.S., and sold counterfeit prescription drugs. Carmi was sentenced to ten months of imprisonment, fined $30,000, and forfeited $50,000.
Moshe Dahan admitted to smuggling prescription drugs into the U.S., and sentenced to one year of probation, a $15,000 fine and a forfeiture of $15,000 to the U.S.
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