Middlesex County, N.J., Man Charged With Trafficking In Counterfeit Male Enhancement Pills And Money Laundering
NEWARK, N.J. – A Middlesex County, N.J. man was charged today with trafficking in counterfeit male enhancement supplements imported from China and with laundering proceeds of more than $1 million, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Shuja Ali Syed, 52, originally from Pakistan and now a resident of Iselin, N.J., was arrested this morning by U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations special agents. He was charged in a two-count Complaint and is scheduled for an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark federal court.
According to the Complaint filed in Newark federal court:
From February 2012 through January 2013, Syed trafficked in counterfeit, purportedly all-natural male enhancement products, namely Libigrow, Blue Diamond, Nite Rider, and ExtenZe. Syed imported counterfeit Libigrow, Blue Diamond, Nite Rider, and ExtenZe from China, and sold the products to undercover law enforcement agents and other individuals in New Jersey and New York. Syed represented that the products were “all natural,” when, in fact, laboratory analyses of the counterfeit products indicated that they contained either sildenafil, commonly known as Viagra, or tadalafil, commonly known as Cialis. Both Viagra and Cialis are prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration and used to treat, among other things, erectile dysfunction.
From December 2011 through November 2012, Syed deposited more than $600,000 into New Jersey bank accounts and wired more than $1 million to China, all of which were proceeds from the illegal importation and sale of the counterfeit products.
The criminal Complaint charges Syed with one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods, which carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $2 million, and one count of money laundering, which is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in Syed’s financial transactions.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited law enforcement agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew McLees, and postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Maria Kelokates, for the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron Mendelsohn of the Economic Crimes Unit and Evan Weitz of the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.
This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint against Syed are merely accusations, and he is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Carol Gillen Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Trenton