Indictment Unsealed Following Arrest Of Individuals Allegedly Involved In Scam To Distribute Misbranded Drugs
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that an indictment charging four individuals with allegedly being involved in a scam to distribute misbranded drugs through businesses located in York County and conceal the unlawful profits has been unsealed.
The indictment returned by a Harrisburg grand jury on March 8 was sealed pending the arrest of the defendants.
According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Almuntasser “Alex” Hbaiu, age 34, of Los Angeles, California, was previously charged with criminal conspiracy, delivery of misbranded drugs, receipt of misbranded drugs, and two counts of wire fraud. On March 8, the Grand Jury returned a second superseding indictment that charged Alex Hbaiu with additional offenses of structuring financial transactions and bank fraud.
The new indictment also charged three additional defendants. Ahed Hbaiu, age 32, of Etters, Pennsylvania, is charged with criminal conspiracy, delivery of misbranded drugs in interstate commerce, receipt of misbranded drugs in interstate commerce, structuring financial transactions, bank fraud, and engaging in monetary transactions with criminally derived property worth more than $10,000.
Gil Conrad Dizon, age 28, of Los Angeles, California, is charged with criminal conspiracy, delivery of misbranded drugs in interstate commerce, receipt of misbranded drugs in interstate commerce, two counts of wire fraud, and structuring financial transactions. Christopher Mouzon, age 27, of Los Angeles, California, is charged criminal conspiracy, structuring financial transactions and perjury.
The second superseding indictment charges that the four men were involved with various companies that sold drugs including “Mojo Nights,” “Libigrow” and “Blue Diamond” that were marketed as “all-natural” versions of sexual enhancement drugs such as Viagra. In fact, the drugs contained sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in Viagra, and Tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis. Both are prescription drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The misbranded “performance enhancers” products were sold on internet web sites as well as physical locations, including a location in York County.
In addition, according to the second superseding indictment, the four defendants conspired to avoid the requirement that banks report cash transactions of $10,000 or more by “structuring” deposits made into various bank accounts. The conspirators made cash deposits of less than $10,000 in their accounts as well as accounts of family members and associates and then transferred the money to accounts controlled by them, their family members, or associates. Some of the funds “structured” in this fashion were used to pay off the mortgage on a residence at 1806 Meadow Ridge Drive, Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, which was eventually titled to Alex Hbaiu. Other structured funds were used to fund the business operations of Caliber Investments; 1 Stop Sunoco Gas Station and Eclipse Builders, both located in located in Etters, York County.
The second superseding indictment further charges that Ahed Hbaiu committed bank fraud by obtaining a credit card in his mother’s name and using the card to purchase construction equipment for his business, Eclipse Builders. Ahed Hbaiu’s mother filed for bankruptcy after only a few payments were made and the credit card debt was discharged. Ahed Hbaiu and Alex Hbaiu are also charged with obtaining credit cards in the name of an individual who is serving a sentence of life imprisonment in Florida and making false representations on credit card applications.
The charge of engaging in monetary transactions of over $10,000 with money obtained through criminal activity stems from Ahed Hbaiu’s purchase of construction equipment with the money obtained from the bank fraud.
According to the allegations in the second superseding indictment, Christopher Mouzon committed perjury when he testified before the Grand Jury on October 3, 2012.
The second superseding indictment also seeks forfeiture of a number of bank accounts and the property at 1806 Meadow Ridge Drive, Hummelstown.
Ahed Hbaiu reportedly left the country last week and Dizon is purportedly in the Philippines. Warrants have been issued for their arrest. Mouzon was arrested Wednesday in California.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. It is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy H. Fawcett.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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