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Press Release

Unlicensed Wholesaler Sentenced To Prison For Distributing Foreign Unapproved New Drugs And Mail Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven today sentenced Marina Sievert (58, Dunedin) to two years in federal prison for mail fraud and introduction into interstate commerce of a foreign unapproved new drug. As part of her sentence, the court entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $1.5 million, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct, and ordered Sievert to pay $20,000 in criminal fines. Sievert had pleaded guilty on June 21, 2023.

According to court documents, beginning in July 2019, and continuing through April 2022, Sievert owned and operated Beauty Forever Florida, Inc. (BFF), a Florida corporation that she used to order, purchase, import, receive, and distribute unapproved and misbranded drugs and medical devices. For instance, Sievert distributed Innotox Medytox and Meditoxin, which contained botulinum toxin type A, a highly potent toxin that could cause the disease botulism. Sievert acquired these products from a Korean pharmaceutical company that did not have the required approvals of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for distribution in the United States. Sievert made fraudulent representations on her BFF website to her customers, such as false and misleading claims that BFF’s products were “FDA approved,” had “cleared customs,” and had “guaranteed authenticity.” Sievert collected online orders from the BFF website and used the United States Postal Service and private and commercial interstate carriers to acquire the unapproved new drugs from foreign pharmaceutical retailers. Sievert then distributed the unapproved new drugs across the United States via the mail.

This case was investigated by the United States Food and Drug Administration—Office of Criminal Investigations and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Greg Pizzo.

Updated October 31, 2023

Topics
Consumer Protection
Drug Trafficking