Justice Department Dismantles Fake Online Pharmacy Conspiracies & Convicts 9

On March 27, the US Department of Justice announced the sentencing of 9 people involved in distinct but interrelated fake online pharmacy conspiracies. The ringleaders were sentenced to 4-5 years apiece, while other members of the broad organizations got less jail time or probation. All told, the defendants forfeited more than $94 million in profits. UPS & FedEx shipping records were used as evidence in this case.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has concluded the successful prosecution of two different fake Internet pharmacy conspiracies. As they describe it, “these convictions were the result of a lengthy investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, San Francisco Field Division’s Financial Investigative Team. The prosecution is part of the Northern District of California United States Attorney’s Office’s Health Care Fraud program and was initiated as an investigation with the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force. Substantial assistance was provided by the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy. Assistant United States Attorneys Kirstin Ault, Thomas Stevens, and Tracie Brown, with assistance from Denise Oki, Maryam Beros, Rawaty Yim, and Rayneisha Booth, prosecuted this case on behalf of the United States.”

Pitcairn Internet Pharmacy

Michael Arnold, founder of Pitcairn Internet Pharmacy was given a 5 year jail term for his role in distributing controlled substances and prescription drugs through a maze of illegal Internet pharmacy websites. From 2003-2007, he earned more than $69 million via websites such as ezdietpills dot net, pillsavings dot com, and doctorrefill dot net. Arnold used accounts in several countries including Canada, Switzerland, and the Netherlands to launder profits from his illegal drug sales. In addition to his jail term, he has been ordered to forfeit the $69 million in profits from his fake online pharmacy business, reports the DOJ.


Christopher Napoli, the founder of SafeScripts (also known as PharmacyUSA) was sentenced to 4 years in jail and required to forfeit almost $25 million in profits from his illicit online pharmacy business. Napoli ran his fake Internet pharmacies from November 2004 to December 2006. During that time, Safescripts sold more than 13 million doses of controlled substances. Napoli’s Safescripts operation was rather sophisticated, paying affiliates in several foreign countries to market his drugs, and utilizing a call center in the Dominican Republic to handle customer calls, according to the sentencing document.