Editor's note: On Oct. 8, after this article was published, the U.S. District Court continued the case to the two-week trial calendar beginning Nov. 22, 2021.
A federal judge has denied a request to postpone the criminal trial against Blackstone Labs, a dietary supplement company, and three of its former executives.
The jury trial in the Southern District of Florida is scheduled to begin Oct. 12.
Blackstone Labs and others had requested a continuance of the trial. Defense attorneys described the COVID-19 pandemic as “rampant and out of control in Florida, and specifically in Broward County.”
According to the Aug. 26 motion seeking a continuance, the government did not object to the request. But on Sept. 24, U.S. District Judge William Dimitrouleas denied the request, court records show.
The case is scheduled to be heard before a jury next month—more than two years after Blackstone Labs, its executives and others connected to the business were indicted for selling illegal substances in products marketed as dietary supplements.
Several individuals, as well as a contract manufacturer who made products for Blackstone Labs, have pleaded guilty to certain charges in the indictment.
Defendants remaining in the case and scheduled to go to trial include Blackstone Labs and two of its co-founders, Aaron Singerman and Phillip Braun, as well as a former employee of Blackstone Labs, James Boccuzzi. Boccuzzi was the company’s lead salesman and he managed wholesale sales, according to the indictment.
A DOJ spokesperson declined to comment on the upcoming trial, and defense counsel for Boccuzzi, Braun, Blackstone Labs and Singerman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.