Arrest Warrant Issued for Convicted Canadian Online Pharmacy Operator
by GenBug via Flickr.
An arrest warrant has been issued by Judge Irma Gonzalez, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, in San Diego, for Canadian businessman Nathan Jacobson as a result of his failure to appear for sentencing in the vast Affpower fake online pharmacy case.
In 2007, Jacobson was one of 18 indicted on racketeering and related charges for allegedly operating an internet business that generated more than $126 million in gross revenues from the illegal sale of prescription medicines from customers across the U.S., reported the U.S. Department of Justice.
Using an online pharmaceutical distribution network known as "Affpower," the 18 people indicted, including Nathan Jacobson, allegedly "sold controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs through numerous affiliated websites to customers who lacked prescriptions for the drugs from a personal physician," according to the indictment. No medical exam of any kind was conducted to verify appropriateness of the prescription. In some cases, licensed doctors from various states were paid to approve prescriptions based on an online questionaire. In other cases, non-medical Affpower employees approved sales using the stolen identities of licensed physicians.
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Jacobson pled guilty in 2008 to conspiracy to commit money laundering in the case, and agreed to forfeit $4.5 million. He was supposed to appear for sentencing July 30th, but his failure to appear has resulted in a bench warrant for his arrest being issued Monday, reports the Montreal Gazette.
Jacobson is not currently in the United States. The Gazette reports that his Canadian lawyer states that he is away on business in Asia, and was unaware of the sentencing hearing.
Jacbson's role was clearing payments, through RX Payments Ltd., a credit-card clearning company registered in Malta, and operated out of Tel Aviv, reports the Montreal Gazette. The Gazette also identifies three other active fake online pharmacies that he has been linked to: CanadaMeds, CrossBorderMeds, and TotalCarePharmacy.
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