Bradenton Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Selling Counterfeit, Unapproved, And Misbranded Drugs
Tampa, Florida – United States District Judge Steven D. Merryday today sentenced Robert Lohr (72, Bradenton) to 21 months in federal prison for conspiracy to smuggle misbranded and counterfeit drugs into the United States. The Court also entered an order forfeiting Lohr’s interest in approximately $926,466, the proceeds of the conspiracy.
According to court documents, from July 2009 through September 25, 2015, Lohr operated a business in Bradenton known as “Canadian American Drug Club” or “American Drug Club of Bradenton.” The business sold and distributed illegally smuggled prescription drugs, including Viagra, Cialis, Achiphex, and Lipitor, as well as other drug products that were falsely represented as “herbal,” but that contained active prescription ingredients. Lohr generated more than $1 million in sales of these misbranded and counterfeit drugs. At no time was Lohr ever licensed as a pharmacist, a drug importer, or a drug wholesaler. Neither was American Drug Club a licensed pharmacy, drug importer, or wholesaler.
Between March 21, 2014, and September 15, 2015, several undercover purchases of misbranded, unapproved, and counterfeit prescription drugs were made from Lohr’s business. Prescriptions for Viagra and Cialis were filled and mailed from the business, along with counterfeit drugs made in China. Other prescription drugs, such as Achiphex and Lipitor, were filled by foreign pharmacies with foreign drugs, which had been approved for the U.S. market. Lohr also sold several herbal Viagra products, without prescriptions, that had been illegally smuggled from China. These products, with names such as “Maxmen,” “Superhard,” or “Vigour,” contained sildenafil citrate, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Viagra. Several of the packages addressed to Lohr’s business, containing the counterfeit drugs, were seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“Counterfeit pharmaceuticals can and have led to serious injuries and death,” said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. “HSI takes cases like this very seriously and work tirelessly with our partners, like the FDA, to investigate these crimes and bring to justice those who commit them.”
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for protecting the health and safety of the American public, and ensuring that drugs intended for human use bear true and accurate information and are safe and effective for their intended uses. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kelley Howard-Allen and Holly Gershow.