US Attorney – Wholesale Pharmaceutical Company Owner Sentenced On Prescription Drug Diversion & Wire Fraud

LawFuel – R. Alexander Acosta , United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and David Bourne, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, announce that on May 27, 2008, United States District Court Judge Aldalberto Jordan sentenced defendant Sheldon Kresler to 96 months’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release and ordered him to pay $1,763,227.78 in restitution to Watson Pharmaceuticals, formerly known as Schein Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In August 2007, Kresler was found guilty by a jury of conspiring to commit wire fraud, prescription drug diversion, and money laundering. The jury also found that Kresler should forfeit $873,500 of the proceeds that he received from the fraud. Hence, the sentencing judge ordered Kresler to forfeit several items of jewelry, including a Rolex Watch, two diamond rings and a gold chain, to satisfy that outstanding money judgment.

According to the evidence presented at trial, between November 1999 and January 2000, African Christian Relief, a charitable organization, placed eight orders with Schein Pharmaceuticals for the prescription drug Infed, at steeply discounted prices under the guise that the Infed was to be sent to Angola, Africa, to assist the poor in that country. Infed is an iron dextram injection prescribed and administered for the treatment of iron deficiency. In reality, Kresler, a 50% owner of Crystal Coast Inc., a wholesale pharmaceutical company, was purchasing the Infed through African Christian Relief at the reduced rate and re-selling it to customers within the United States at substantial profits. The evidence showed that, in a three-month period, Crystal Coast made a profit of almost $1,000,000.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lois Foster-Steers and Lornette Reynolds.

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.

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