Nevada Man Indicted for Allegedly Selling Misbranded Drugs over the Internet and Shipping Them to Customers by Mail
Allegedly Induced Research Chemical Suppliers to Sell the Drugs to Him by Falsely Stating That He Operated a Grant-funded Research Institution
Greenbelt, Maryland - A federal grand jury indicted Chandan Manansingh, age 36, of Las Vegas, Nevada, today on charges of selling misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud or mislead, and mail fraud. Manansingh is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nevada.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Antoinette V. Henry of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Criminal Investigations.
According to the four-count indictment, Manansingh owned and operated two companies: Purepeptides LLC (“Purepeptides”), a company through which he sold injectable drugs to individual consumers seeking to enhance their physiques, and Propeptides LLC (“Propeptides”), a company that he falsely represented to be a research institution. Purepeptides advertised on the internet through a company website. According to the indictment, Manansingh advertised the Purepeptides website and products extensively in bodybuilding magazines and sold his products to bodybuilders for their personal use. The internet advertisements claimed that the drugs would, among other things, increase muscle mass, reduce body fat, strengthen the immune system, increase sexual desire and function, induce skin tanning, and reduce skin wrinkling. The drugs that Manansingh sold through Purepeptides included Melanotan II, Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (“CJC-1295”), Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide-6 (“GHRP-6”), myostatin propeptide, and mechano growth factor (“MGF”). These drugs were not approved by the FDA for use in humans.
The indictment alleges that between April 2007 and November 2009, Manansingh induced research chemical suppliers to sell the drugs to him by falsely stating that he operated a grant-funded research institution, used the drugs for research purposes, and did not resell the drugs. After receiving drugs from the suppliers, the indictment alleges that Manansingh would re-package, re-label, and resell the drugs for profit, without medical supervision, to individual consumers who injected themselves with the drugs. The indictment alleges that upon receiving payment from customers, Manansingh shipped the drugs via the U.S. mail to customers around the country. The indictment further alleges that Manansingh advised his customers, via e-mail and telephone, on how to self-administer the drugs, including dosages and placement of the injections, to produce the desired bodily enhancements. Manansingh also told customers that he had personally benefitted from the drugs.
According to the indictment Manansingh caused the Purepeptides website to display numerous disclaimers stating that the products sold were for research purposes only and were “not intended for use . . . to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals.” Manansingh allegedly sold the products in injectable vials that were labeled, “For Research Use Only.” The indictment alleges that Manansingh knowingly used these disclaimers to deceive the suppliers and to avoid FDA scrutiny.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $807,274.75, alleged to be the value of the proceeds of the crime.
Manansingh faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for mail fraud, and three years in prison for selling misbranded drugs with intent to defraud or mislead. No court appearance has been scheduled.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney Robert K. Hur, who is prosecuting the case.