News and Press Releases

Illinois Man Illegally Purchased and Sold Peptides

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2013

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Palatine, Ill., pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of mail fraud, misbranding of drugs and money laundering, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Adam F. Higdon, 40, pleaded guilty to three counts before Senior United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that 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.

Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for Oct. 15, 2013 at 2 p.m.. 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.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Mr. Higdon's bond.

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

The FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, IRS - Criminal Investigation and the DEA conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Higdon.

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