Illinois Man And Florida Man Sentenced For Delivery Of Misbranded Drugs
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Paul Leix, age 36, of Bloomingdale, Illinois and Thomas Keightly, age 35, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, were sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Yvette Kane for conspiracy to commit money laundering and delivery of altered or misbranded drugs by fraud. Leix was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment and Keightly was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, Leix along with co-defendant, Dominic Pileggi, were involved in a business, L&P Trading, which used the internet to market and distribute peptides (a type of amino acid), along with other bodybuilding chemicals, to individuals seeking to enhance their physiques. Leix marketed these products on his website while providing a disclaimer that the substances were not for human consumption and use (for research purposes only). Customers who visited the website seeking these products for bodybuilding purposes would falsely attest that they were buying the chemicals for research purposes. Leix knew that the buyers were lying about what they would do with the chemicals. By marketing the products to the online bodybuilding community, Leix knew that purchasers would use the products for personal consumption rather than research. The “research only” disclaimer was a device to circumvent the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). L&P Trading advertised on body-building billboards and sites and Leix was not properly licensed or had the required approvals to manufacture, sell or prescribe these products.
Leix also sold these drugs and their chemical components to other illegal distributors and manufacturers, including Total Trading, LLC, a company owned and operated by Keightly, located in Lebanon County, that, in turn, sold directly to end users in the same manner.
Pileggi was convicted by a federal jury on June 7, 2018, of conspiracy to commit money laundering and introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. Pileggi is awaiting sentencing.
“We commend our partners at IRS Criminal Investigation for uncovering this fraudulent scheme to undermine the FDA’s mission to ensure that prescription drugs are safely manufactured and dispensed,” said U.S. Attorney Freed. “These prosecutions send a strong message that operation of clandestine laboratories such as the ones used by these defendants will be prosecuted and legally compelled to forfeit their illegal proceeds.”
“These defendants engaged in illegal on-line sale of misbrand prescription Drugs,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Guy Ficco. “Through false representations, they were able to perpetrate this scheme; and through our forensic accounting and financial investigative skills, we were able to stop them in their tracks and bring them to justice.”
The cases were investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Terz prosecuted the cases.
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