Harvey Pleads Guilty In Two Federal Cases Involving Importation Of Ephedrine Into The United States And Actions To Introduce Misbranded Drug Into Commerce
Pleas Include 36-Month Sentencing Recommendation;Forfeiture of Assets
SALT LAKE CITY – Kelly Dean Harvey, age 50, of West Jordan, pleaded guilty to charges in two separate indictments in federal court Wednesday. Harvey was charged in one indictment in connection with efforts he made to introduce a misbranded drug into interstate commerce. The second case involved conspiracies to import ephedrine into the United States and launder money.
The plea agreements resolving both cases were executed during a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse. Each plea agreement includes a recommendation to the court that Harvey be sentenced to 36 months in federal prison and that the sentences run concurrently. As a part of the misbranded drug case, Harvey has agreed to forfeit funds from several financial accounts; an insurance policy; and two Roth IRA accounts.
Sentencing in the cases is set for Aug. 14, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. before U.S. District Judge David Nuffer.
The Ephedrine Case
Harvey pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to import and importation of ephedrine and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in the ephedrine case.
He admitted that between Aug. 1, 2007, and April 2011, he conspired with co-defendants Mashesh Kumar Bisht and Jorge Eduardo Campos to transport shipments containing ephedrine from India into the United States. He admitted knowing that the shipments he was arranging contained ephedrine and that the importation of ephedrine violated federal laws.
He also admitted he worked with Bisht and Campos to transfer funds from the United States to India to pay for the ephedrine and that he conducted financial transactions in a way designed to conceal the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the funds, which were proceeds of an unlawful activity.
One of the co-defendants, Jorge Campos, has pleaded guilty and his sentencing is pending. The second co-defendant, Bisht, is in India and has not been arrested.
This case, which is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is being investigated by special agents of the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and IRS Criminal Investigation.
The Fraud/Misbranded Drug Case
Harvey admitted to conspiring with two others to manufacture and distribute male sexual enhancement and erectile dysfunction products (“ED drugs”) under false pretenses and with the intent to hide and conceal from the FDA the use of an active ingredient which was subject to FDA regulation. The ED drugs, distributed and marketed by Harvey, a Michigan distributor (an unindicted co-conspirator), and others contained a synthetic ingredient imported from China similar to sildenafil citrate, the active ingredient in Viagra. Harvey purchased the ingredient through a Chinese broker (an unindicted co-conspirator). As distributed and sold, the drugs were misbranded in the following respects: (1) they were identified as “dietary supplements,” which they were not; (2) they were identified as “100 % natural,” which they were not; and (3) they did not identify the active ingredient imported from China on labels or in instructions.
Harvey pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and concealment money laundering in connection with this case and agreed to forfeiture totaling about $512,731.75.
This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and investigated by special agents of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations.