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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Illinois Man Charged With Illegally Distributing Peptides

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Palatine, Ill., was indicted on March 26, 2013, by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of mail fraud, misbranding of drugs and money laundering, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The three-count indictment named Adam F. Higdon, 40, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, Higdon maintained two websites for the illegal distribution of peptides - chemical compounds which require a prescription for dispensation, but which are illegitimately sought by body-builders for muscle enhancement. Higdon deceived the Internet service provider and the FDA by falsely representing on the websites that he was selling these substances "for research use only . . . not for human consumption." During the period from January 2010 until January 2011, Higdon allegedly paid $131,472.50 to acquire the substances from suppliers in the Peoples Republic of China; and he thereafter sold the peptides for $397,662.00.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the mail fraud count; three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the misbranding count; and 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 on the money laundering count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Leo M. Dillon is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The prosecution arose from the combined efforts of agents with the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, IRS - Criminal Investigation and the DEA.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated July 14, 2015