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Nov. 15, 2010

DISTRIBUTOR OF COUNTERFEIT PHARMACEUTICALS DRUGS SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON

(HOUSTON) - Kum Leung Chow, aka Lawrence Chow, has been sentenced to 12 months and one day for conspiring to distribute counterfeit pharmaceuticals and trafficking in pharmaceuticals bearing false labeling and counterfeit trademarks, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Chow, 59, who pleaded guilty to the federal charges on June 28, 2010, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt.

Chow, a citizen of the People Republic of China, used a Hong Kong based company named Kingdom International Enterprises LTD to obtain and distribute counterfeit Viagra and Cialis pharmaceutical drugs in the United States. Viagra and Cialis are prescription drugs that are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction and are registered trademarks on the principal register in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Viagra is manufactured and distributed exclusively by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, while Cialis is manufactured and distributed exclusively by Eli Lilly.
                                               
The investigation, which began in January 2009, revealed that Chow offered boxes containing four Viagra tablets and boxes containing eight Cialis tablets for $10 a box on two Internet websites. The retail cost for Viagra tablets are approximately $20.00 each, while Cialis tablets are approximately $15.20. Working in an undercover capacity, agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) purchased approximately 1,120 Viagra tablets and approximately 360 Cialis tablets from Chow over the Internet on March 25, 2009, and April 28, 2009. Shipping documents accompanying the pharmaceuticals indicated they were exported from mainland China and Hong Kong. The pharmaceuticals were later analyzed by the trademark holders and the FDA Forensic Chemistry Center which indicated the pharmaceuticals were counterfeit. Counterfeit pharmaceutical products could have caused harm to the public if not for the actions of law enforcement in monitoring the Internet.

Chow was arrested Jan. 27, 2010, and has been in federal custody since that date and will remain in custody to serve out his sentence.

ICE-HSI and the FDA-Office of Criminal Investigations investigated this case which was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samuel Louis.

 

 

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