June 11, 2013
WASHINGTONA 50-year-old man has admitted to conspiring with others to distribute erectile dysfunction drugs that were misbranded as dietary supplements under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors that could land him in prison for three years, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month.
Kelly Dean Harvey, of West Jordan, Utah, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and concealment money laundering in connection with the case. He also agreed to forfeit funds from numerous financial accounts, an insurance policy and two Roth IRA accounts, with the forfeitures totaling $512,731.75, according to the agency.
The erectile dysfunction drugs distributed and marketed by Harvey, a Michigan distributor who has not been indicted and others contained a synthetic ingredient that is similar to the active ingredient in Viagra, sildenafil citrate, according to DOJ. Harvey allegedly acquired the ingredient from a Chinese broker, whom prosecutors have not indicted.
Harvey misidentified the drugs as dietary supplements and "100% natural", and the ingredient from China was not identified on labels or instructions, DOJ said.
Under a plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend that Harvey be sentenced to 36 months in prison. They are recommending Harvey serve the same sentence under a separate plea agreement involving the importation of ephedrine from India to the United States. However, the recommended sentences would be served concurrently rather than consecutively.
Harvey is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 14 by U.S. District Judge David Nuffer.
In the ephedrine case, Harvey reportedly admitted conspiring with co-defendants to transport ephedrine in violation of federal laws from India to the United States. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import and importation of ephedrine and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, DOJ said.
A co-defendant, Jorge Eduardo Campos, has pleaded guilty and has yet to be sentenced, according to the agency. A second co-defendant, Mashesh Kumar Bisht, has not been arrested and is residing in India, DOJ said.
Special agents of the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and IRS Criminal Investigation have been investigating the ephedrine case. The other probe has been conducted by special agents of FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations.
You May Also Like
The ashwagandha root production process: Where tradition meets science – article part threeSep 21, 2023
Former FDA employees weigh in on gov’t shutdownSep 27, 2023
HerbalGram celebrates 40 years of bringing ancient herbal traditions back to life in AmericaSep 27, 2023
New science advances probiotics, milk fats and herbsSep 27, 2023