The Baltimore Sun reported on federal charges against a Maryland man for selling counterfeit Xanax online for years. In the newly unsealed indictment, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges that starting from at least November 2013, Ryan Farace made tens of millions of dollars by manufacturing, selling, and shipping the counterfeit pills. In the document, authorities state that Farace purchased pill presses and Xanax molds online and used alprazolam powder to create his counterfeit pills.
To conceal his activities, Farace allegedly sold the pills on certain online marketplaces and communicated with customers via encrypted messaging tools. To fulfill orders, Farace would ship packages via the U.S. Postal Service, sometimes paying for the packages with prepaid debit cards. A second man, Robert Swain, is listed on the indictment and is charged with the money laundering count in the indictment.
On top of any prison sentence that may be imposed, the DOJ asked for a sizeable forfeiture in this case including at least $5,665,000 in cash and assets, a 2010 Lincoln Navigator, a 2012 GMC pick-up truck, two houses in Maryland, and at least 4,000 Bitcoin. The exchange rate at the time of writing made 4,000 Bitcoin currently valued at over $24.7 million. Warren Brown, Farace’s attorney, said, “It’s still kind of early on. We’re evaluating all of the evidence.”