Defendants Sentenced for Selling Prescription Drugs on Norfold Men's Clinic Web Site (June 18, 2002)
DOJ Seal
June 18, 2002

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Middle District of Alabama
P.O. Box 197
Montgomery, Alabama 36101
(334) 223-7280
Contact: Retta Goss
Press Officer
(877) 443-0028

Defendants Sentenced for Selling Prescription Drugs on Norfolk Men’s Clinic Web Site

Leura Garrett Canary, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, announced today that Anton F. Pusztai, an Australian citizen, and Anita Yates, of Clanton, Alabama, were sentenced on charges related to illegally offering prescription drugs over the Internet to consumers through a website called Norfolk Men’s Clinic in Clanton, Alabama. On February 16, 2002, a jury convicted Pusztai and Yates of all twenty-three counts brought against them in an Indictment returned on July 27, 2000. Those charges are conspiracy to commit violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), conspiracy to commit money laundering, mail fraud, dispensing misbranded drugs, and operating a drug repackaging facility that was not registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

United States District Judge Anthony Alaimo, visiting from the Southern District of Georgia, presided over the trial of this case. Judge Alaimo sentenced Anton Pusztai to 188 months imprisonment, and sentenced Anita Yates to 78 months imprisonment. Pusztai’s sentence was enhanced for committing perjury during his testimony at trial. In addition, Pusztai received additional sentencing enhancements for his role as the organizer and leader of the business, and for using his minor son in the offenses. Pusztai has been incarcerated in the Montgomery City Jail since April 2001, after he agreed to waive extradition to the United States from Germany. The Court also entered a final order of forfeiture of approximately $373,000 in assets that were frozen when the case was indicted.

The sentencings in this case demonstrate that unscrupulous business practices on the Internet will not be tolerated, said Ms. Canary. This case sends a message to those who seek to circumvent the laws protecting the health and safety of consumers. I commend the investigators and prosecutors for their dedication and hard work in collecting and presenting the evidence to achieve this just result.

The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that the conspiracy began as early as October 1998 and continued through July 2000, the date of indictment. Pusztai and Yates, operating as the Norfolk Men’s Clinic, sold prescription drugs, including Viagra, Xenical, Celebrex, Propecia, and Claritin-D, to consumers who did not have valid prescriptions written by a licensed medical practitioner, and collected fees for non-existent medical consultations. They also repackaged drugs obtained from a pharmacy and a drug wholesaler, All International Co., and shipped the drugs out to customers in the United States and around the world.

In November 2001, Yvan M. Degomme, President of All International Co., a drug wholesaler based in Miami, Florida, and All International Co., pled guilty to dispensing misbranded prescription drugs and obstruction of justice. On June 5, 2002, All International Co. was ordered to pay a $125,000 fine; Degomme was placed on probation for one year, and ordered to perform 150 hours of community service, and pay a $1,500 fine.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tommie Brown Hardwick, and Trial Attorney Linda I. Marks, Office of Consumer Litigation, Washington, D.C., and was investigated by Special Agent Robert J. West, Office of Criminal Investigations, United States Food and Drug Administration, and Lieutenant J. Shane Fulmer, Chilton County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation was assisted by the Australian Federal Police and investigators from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.

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