[Ip-health] Recent ICE cases involving the counterfeit of pharmaceutical drugs (most involve erectile dysfunction drugs)

Jamie Love james.love at keionline.org
Sat Jun 2 06:52:50 PDT 2012


Recent ICE Press regarding counterfeit of pharmaceutical drugs

This is a rough list of the recent ICE press releases mentioning
counterfeit and pharmaceutical. It is quite clear that the vast
majority of counterfeit busts involve Viagra and other erectile
dysfunction drugs, a problem that will probably resolve itself once
the Pfizer patents on Viagra expire.

In my own quick review of ICE press releases, I found just 12
pharmaceutical counterfeiting cases in the ICE press releases from
2009 to May 2012, with 14 defendents.

* 13 of the 14 defendents were men.

*  7 defendants appeared to be US citizens. 7 had foreign or mixed

*  Of the 12 cases, 9 involved erectile dysfunction drugs such as
Viagra, Cialis or Levitra.

*  The one women defendant was distributing counterfeit Botox.

*  One case involved a wieght loss product nown as "alli"

* In only one case were the counterfeits non-lifestyle drugs
(involving Plavix, Zyprexa, Casodex, Tamiflu, and Acricept).

Summary of 2012 Cases

Benny Carmi, and Moshe Dahan, Israeli citizens, Sentenced for
smuggling coutnerfeit and misbranded pharmaceuticals into the United
States, including Cialis, and a controlled substanced marketed in the
US as Meridia. (It is not obvious the case involved counterfeit of
registered trademarks, or a variety of other FDA violations concerning
labeling and distributing products).

Kil Jun Lee, a former South Korean law enforcement officer. Arrested
for smuggling 29,827 counterfeit Viagra tablets, 8,993 counterfeit
Cialis pills and 793 phony Levitra tablets. (Coverage:
http://jezebel.com/kil-jun-lee/ [2])

Summary of 2011 Arrests

Curtis Henry of Rochester. Arrested in 2001 and sentenced in 2012 for
importing and distributed counterfeit Viagra and Cialis in to the
United States -- three years probation and restitution in amount of

Randy Hucks of Philadelphia. Indicated for trafficing in counterfeit
pharmaceuticals, including Cialis and Viagra. During the course of the
investigation, a total of 10,188 tablets of counterfeit Viagra and
3,040 tablets of Cialis were received by Hucks.

Shengyang Zhou, aka "Tom," of Kunming, Yunnan, China. Trafficking in
counterfeit versions of the pharmaceutical weight-loss drug known as
"Alli." Sentenced in 2011 to seven years and three months in prison,
following a 2010 criminal complaint.

En Wang, owner of Jiao Long USAO Inc., a Houston-based company, in
2011 was sentenced in absentia to two years and nine months in federal
prison, after he fled the country following a 2010 conviction for
trafficking in counterfeit versions and misbranded Viagra.

Summary of 2010 cases

Kum Leung Chow, aka Lawrence Chow, pleaded guilty to the federal
charges on June 28 and waws sentenced to tweleve months in prison, for
obtaining and distributing counterfeit Viagra and Cialis
pharmaceutical drugs in the United States. Chow offered boxes
containing four Viagra tablets and boxes containing eight Cialis
tablets for $10 a box on two Internet websites. The retail cost for
each Viagra tablet is about $20, while each Cialis tablet is about
$15.20. Working in an undercover capacity, ICE agents purchased about
1,120 Viagra tablets and about 360 Cialis tablets from Chow via the
Internet on March 25, 2009, and April 28, 2009.

Mark Hughes, of St. Louis, was indicted on multiple charges for
allegedly importing and selling counterfeit and misbranded
prescription drugs, including Viagra and Cialis.

Richard Fletcher, of Dallas, Texas, was sentenced to 12 months in
prison for using the Internet to obtain and distribute counterfeit
Viagra, Cialis and Levitra pharmaceutical drugs.

Summary 2009 cases

Rana J. Hunter, of Marina Del Rey, Calif., was convicted in 2009 on
eight criminal counts, including two counts of smuggling goods into
the United States and two counts of knowingly distributing HGH for a
use unauthorized by law. Evidence at the trial included that Hunter's
business, Westgate Distributors, also claimed to offer Botulinum toxin
type A, marketed under the Allergan brand name Botox. A subsequent
laboratory analysis revealed the HGH was genuine, but the substance
being sold as Botox contained no evidence of the Botulinum toxin. Part
of the case involved Hunter's use of identify theft, including in one
case the name of a deceased judge. In 2010 Hunter received a sentence
of four years in prison.

Nicholas David Lundsten, of Spring Lake Park, Minnesota and Patrick
James Barron, of Fridley, Minnesota, were indicted for distributing
more than 15,000 misbranded drugs to customers. Both men were charged
with introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and
importing non-narcotic Schedule IV controlled substances. The
indictment alleges the defendants introduced and delivered 3,600 pills
falsely labeled as Cialis; 1,582 pills falsely labeled as Propetia;
10,419 pills falsely labeled as Viagra; and 340 pills falsely labeled
as Levitra. In fact, all the pills contained the active pharmaceutical
ingredients of the drugs they imitated, but they were not the
authentic product as labeled and were not made by the respective

Kevin Xu, a citizen of the People's Republic of China, was sentenced
to 6.5 years in prison for distributing counterfeit and misbranded
pharmaceuticals in the United States. This was one of the few cases
that involved something other than erectile dysfunction drugs. While
ICE referred to Xu as "a significant supplier of counterfeit
pharmaceutical due to his ability to manufacture large quantities of
various counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and packaging that was identical
to authentic pharmaceuticals," his 2007 income from Internet sales was
reported at just $232,568. According to ICE, "chemists employed by the
pharmaceutical companies and the Forensic Chemistry Center of the FDA
determined that the counterfeit drugs manufactured by Xu contained
less than the active ingredient listed on the label, and contained
unknown impurities. Drugs mentioned in the case included: Plavix is a
drug used to treat blood clots. Zyprexa is a drug used to treat
schizophrenia. Casodex is used to treat prostate cancer. Tamiflu is
used to treat influenza, commonly referred to as the flu; and Aricept
is used to treat Alzheimers.

Links to ICE press releases


James Love.  Knowledge Ecology International
http://www.keionline.org, +1.202.332.2670, US Mobile: +1.202.361.3040,
Geneva Mobile: +41.76.413.6584, efax: +1.888.245.3140.

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