LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – R Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, David Bourne, Special Agent in Charge, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announced today the initial appearance of defendant Arthur Vanmoor before Federal Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres in Miami on a Superseding Indictment charging the defendant with conspiracy and fraud charges, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 1343, and the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (“FDCA”), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 331(b), 352(a), (f), and (I), and 333(a)(2), and Title 21, United States Code, Sections 331(d), 355(a), and 333(a)(2).
According to the Superseding Indictment, Vanmoor and his co-conspirators sold fake cures for cancer, migraines, influenza, and cramps over the Internet, using approximately twenty websites with names such as www.breastcancercure.com and www.lungcancercure.org. Vanmoor and his co-conspirators used these websites to promote his products “Cancer Control,” “Migraine Miracle,” “Flu Fighter,” and “Cramps Comforter” as “guaranteed” cures and approved by the United States Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) for use on human beings, when, in fact, they were not so approved. Vanmoor further arranged for the websites to contain bogus articles from bogus doctors, pictures of people dressed like doctors holding the products, and bogus testimonials. Additionally, Vanmoor promoted his products on his websites under the names of FDA-approved drugs such as Pfizer’s Camptosar®, when, in reality, his products were neither FDA-approved drugs nor did they contain significant amounts, if any, of the active ingredients of such FDA-approved drugs.
Previously, on December 22, 2005, in U.S. v. Arthur Vanmoor, et al., Case No. 05-61940-CV-LENARD/KLEIN, the United States Attorney’s Office obtained a temporary restraining order against Vanmoor and others prohibiting the continued promotion, advertisement, production, shipment, and/or sale of “Cancer Control,” “Migraine Miracle,” “Flu Fighter,” and any other non-FDA-approved drugs in interstate commerce. The Superseding Indictment alleges that Vanmoor nevertheless continued to maintain his websites and telephone lines after the entry of the temporary restraining order. Vanmoor was found to be in civil contempt, and was first indicted on January 10, 2006 for criminal contempt (in U.S. v. Arthur Vanmoor, Case No. 06-60008-CR-ZLOCH/SNOW (S.D. Fla.)). Vanmoor was extradited from the Netherlands.
The conspiracy count carries a maximum statutory term of imprisonment of five (5) years and a maximum statutory fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory term of imprisonment and fine for each of the mail and wire fraud counts is twenty (20) years and $250,000, respectively. The maximum statutory term of imprisonment and fine for each FDCA violation is three (3) years and $250,000, respectively.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation and the FBI. The criminal cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Keene and Special Assistant Jason S. Hadges. The civil case is being handled by DOJ Trial Attorney Suzette Smikle.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.