Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of August 31, 2020

Coronavirus Fraud And Counterfeits:

Consumer Reports wrote about supplement sellers who have mobilized affiliate networks to “mask their business identities and protect themselves from liability” while they are selling COVID-19 supplements. Networks like these are why PSM supports domain name reform. Learn more about reforms we need to help law enforcement kick covid-scammers off the internet.

Brandon Lewis of Greensboro, North Carolina pleaded guilty to running two fake COVID-19 relief funds, and a fake online store that claimed to sell pandemic-critical goods. The schemes defrauded small business owners and consumers of $500,000 between March and July 2020.

Federal authorities arrested and charged an attorney in Cliffside Park, New Jersey for allegedly making up three different businesses to acquire $9 million in COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program loans. He allegedly used the funds to buy and remodel a home and invest millions in the stock market.

A federal judge dismissed televangelist Jim Bakker’s lawsuit to block Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's investigation into his sales of colloidal silver as a COVID-19 treatment.

Denver-based entrepreneur Cole Evans will pay the state of Colorado more than $62,000 for selling hand sanitizer he falsely claimed the product was made in an FDA-registered facility and was audited by third-party agencies.

Read the allegations against Brandon Lewis, who pleaded guilty in August.

A Denver man made false claims about the hand sanitizer he was manufacturing.

Other Counterfeit News:

Corsets arriving from Mexico had fentanyl pills hidden in them. Learn more on YouTube.

14,000 fentanyl pills seized in San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico. The Mexican Army seized almost a million pills in fiscal year 2019. (Image: Valor por Tamaulipas)

Authorities reported spikes in incidents related to fentanyl pills at the University of Nevada in Reno, and in Yuma County and Flagstaff, Arizona.

A federal judge sentenced Rock Hill, South Carolina residents Brandon Kimble and Cravelyn Davis to 11 and 12 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in a drug trafficking ring that manufactured and sold counterfeit pills made of fentanyl.

Law enforcement in the Seattle, Washington Metropolitan Area worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration to arrest 14 and seize 1,600 suspected fentanyl pills and large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine. Nearly 43,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills have been seized in the region since June.

Idaho residents Aaron and Diana Heinen urged parents to educate themselves and their children about counterfeit pills. Their 23-year-old son Cal died in Seattle last year as a result of a fentanyl-laced pill in 2019.

Oregon State Police arrested two and seized more than six pounds of counterfeit fentanyl pills during a traffic stop near Central Point.

Department of Public Safety detectives in Phoenix, Arizona made a similar traffic stop, arresting three and seizing 30,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized more than three pounds of fentanyl pills at the Port of Nogales in Arizona and fentanyl tablets hidden inside corsets in Louisville, Kentucky.

In a State of Nation address last week, Mexico’s President Obrador reported that the Mexican army seized almost a million fentanyl pills between September 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

Even as we are dealing with the pandemic, PSM is keeping a steady eye on public reports of dangerous counterfeit drugs. Check back for next week’s summary.