Phony Viagra ‘Boom’ Sales Over Internet Lead To FBI Arrests

MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, Assistant
Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau
of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that TIBOR LISKA and BLAKE
BOHINC were arrested this afternoon on charges that they used
interstate wires to market and sell, in the United States and
abroad, the active ingredient in the prescription drug Viagra by
falsely labeling it as a purely herbal supplement they called
“BOOM!”. According to a criminal Complaint filed today in
Manhattan federal court:

From at least March 2006 through November 2007, LISKA
and BOHINC advertised and sold over the internet a product that
they called BOOM! — purported to be a purely herbal supplement
for the enhancement of sexual performance — which was sold in
individual packets containing chocolate-flavored powder.
Internet advertisements for BOOM! claimed that the product was a
“far safer” and “certainly less expensive” herbal alternative to
Viagra.

In fact, BOOM! contained sildenafil citrate, the active
ingredient in Viagra, a trademarked pharmaceutical used to treat
erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil citrate, which cannot be
dispensed without a prescription, can have dangerous side effects
that include a severe drop in blood pressure, sudden decrease or
loss of vision, and potential blood vessel disease of the retina.
For this reason, individuals taking nitrates, even occasionally,
or other medications that also lower blood pressure, cannot also
take sildenafil citrate due to its potentially deadly side
effects. Mislabeling sildenafil citrate as an herbal supplement
may lead persons who normally cannot tolerate the drug to believe
they are consuming a safe alternative.

The packaging on the BOOM! product does not reference
Pfizer, Viagra, or sildenafil citrate. Though the label contains
a cautionary statement regarding patients with high blood
pressure, it does not contain any warnings of sildenafil
citrate’s other side effects.

LISKA and BOHINC imported sildenafil citrate into the
United States from China, and then employed two companies in the
New Paltz, New York area to mix the drug with chocolate powder
and other ingredients and package the product. Through this
process, LISKA and BOHINC obtained approximately 12,000 packets
of BOOM! per month, which they distributed on an international
scale through a company called “Yoi Jin Sei LLC.” The defendants
marketed the drug in Australia, Colombia, Switzerland, Taiwan,
Israel, the United Kingdom, Russia, Argentina, Japan, and the
Slovak Republic.

On November 23, 2007, LISKA and BOHINC’s phone
conversations with a confidential informant (“CI”) were monitored
and recorded. When the CI informed LISKA and BOHINC that law
enforcement knew the BOOM! product contained Viagra and wished to
speak to him, neither defendant denied that BOOM! contained
Viagra. The defendants each instructed the CI on how to handle
questions from law enforcement, and to deny that he knew anything
about the BOOM! product or its ingredients.

LISKA and BOHINC are each charged with one count of
conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If convicted, LISKA and BOHINC
each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum
fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary loss or gain
derived from the offense. LISKA, 47, resides in Ocean, New
Jersey. BOHINC, 50, resides in Holmdel, New Jersey.
LISKA and BOHINC will be presented tomorrow before U.S.
Magistrate Judge GABRIEL W. GORENSTEIN.

Mr. GARCIA praised the work of the FBI in this case, and
said the investigation is continuing.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Major
Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorney SEETHA
RAMACHANDRAN is in charge of this prosecution.
The charges in the criminal Complaint are merely
accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and

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