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Former Lake Havasu City Couple Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Distributing Drugs From India

PHOENIX (LAWFUEL) – Randy T. French, 52, and Sheila T. French, 42, of Kingman, Ariz. and formerly of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to Conspiracy and Introducing Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce.

As part of their guilty pleas, the Frenches admitted to U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake that they falsely represented to their customers that they were selling “name brand,” FDA-approved prescription drugs. Instead, they caused their customers’ orders to be filled with unapproved and misbranded imitation drugs from India. In addition, the Frenches acknowledged that from 2004 to 2006 their illegal prescription drug business, Prescription Buyers Group, generated revenues of more than $2,500,000.

“These two individuals knowingly sent imitation drugs to unsuspecting victims, some of whom have very serious health conditions,” stated U.S. Attorney Diane J. Humetewa. “Working with the Food and Drug Administration, our office will continue to commit resources into stopping those who seek to profit from the sale of counterfeit prescription drugs to consumers in this country.”

“The FDA is committed to investigating the illegal and unscrupulous sale of pharmaceutical medications over the internet,” said Terry Vermillion, Director, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations. “This case is another example of how some people will prey on an unsuspecting public by illegally and unscrupulously selling medications on the Internet without regard to the health or safety of unsuspecting buyers.”

Sentencing has been set for September 21, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. Conspiracy is punishable by a maximum term of five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Introducing Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce is punishable by a maximum term of three years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. The Frenches also agreed to forfeit to the government all profits they received from operating their prescription drug business.

The investigation was conducted by the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations with the assistance of the Lake Havasu City Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Sexton and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven J. Tave, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER: CR-08-0710-PCT-NVW

RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-091(French)

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