22 July – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and David W. Bourne, Special Agent in Charge, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Criminal Investigations, Miami Field Office, announced that defendants, ADRIAN L. SANDS, 37, of Cleveland, Ohio, and STAN MEYERS, 53, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, were convicted in separate cases on their pleas of guilty in United States District Court in Miami, for their roles in transporting and selling various prescription medical devices (“PMDs”) in interstate commerce, knowing the devices to have been stolen, converted, or taken by fraud and for impeding and obstructing the lawful and legitimate functions of the FDA in enforcing federal laws and regulations applicable to prescription medical devices, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
According to the criminal charges and court records, Sands and Meyers were both former sales representatives for a division of Johnson & Johnson, Ethicon Endosurgery, Inc., a company specializing in the development and distribution of PMDs for use in surgical procedures. Sands’ employment included marketing of Ethicon devices to hospitals and other medical facilities in Ohio, while Meyers performed similar duties in Minnesota and the surrounding states.
From January 1998 through June 2000, Sands participated in a conspiracy with another sales representative in the Cleveland area and an individual identified as James Vogt, who was the principal behind a company located in Evergreen, Colorado, and later in Miami, Florida. Vogt, operating under various company names, including “ISSI,” solicited sales representatives of medical device manufacturers, seeking to purchase PMDs for re-sale. As part of the conspiracy, Sands and his coconspirators, without the knowledge or authorization of Ethicon, secured control and possession of significant quantities of the devices that were sold to Vogt. Sands acquired some of the PMDs he shipped to Vogt by substituting “sample” product available to sales personnel for items held by customer medical facilities, which were then marketed to Vogt. According to statements made in court, Sands received a total of $57,699.29 from his participation in this scheme. Under the terms of his Plea Agreement, Sands must forfeit that amount, in addition to any other punishment that may be imposed at sentencing.
Sands’ sentencing is set before District Court Judge Paul Huck for September 30, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. in Miami. Sands faces a potential prison sentence of up to five years, a fine up to $250,000, and possible restitution.
From December 1996 through May 2002, Meyers participated in a separate conspiracy with sales representatives in the Sioux Falls area to obtain and sell significant quantities of the PMDs to Vogt. Meyers acquired some of the devices he shipped to Vogt from “sample” product available to sales personnel, and forwarded other stolen product provided by two other sales representatives. According to statements in court, Meyers and his coconspirators realized more than $150,000 through their criminal conduct. As part of his Plea Agreement in the case, Meyers is obligated to forfeit the profit he realized from the criminal conduct, which the government identified as approximately $129,220.18.
Meyers’ sentencing is set before District Court Judge Marcia Cooke for October 5, 2005 at 10:30 a.m. in Miami. Meyers faces a potential prison sentence of up to five years, a fine up to twice the gain of the illegal conduct, and possible restitution.
These two cases are part of a law enforcement effort dubbed Operation Miami Device. Thus far, eleven (11) individuals have been charged and eight (8) have already been convicted, in connection with illegal conduct related to the theft and shipment of PMDs to South Florida, and interference with the lawful functions of the Food & Drug Administration. The cases have also resulted in agreed forfeitures which will exceed $1.4 million.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Food and Drug Administration which have led to the convictions thus far in the investigation. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Thomas Watts-FitzGerald.