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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Federal Court Orders Seizure of 67 Website Domains Involved in Smuggling and Selling Misbranded and Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles today announced that Special Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations have executed seizure orders against 67 domain names of commercial websites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit and prescription drugs. The seized domains are in the custody of the federal government.  Visitors to the sites will now find a seizure banner that notifies them that the domain name has been seized by federal authorities for violations of federal laws against smuggling and trademark misuse. 

The domain names are subject to forfeiture under federal forfeiture laws that afford individuals who have an interest in the seized domain names a period of time after the “Notice of Seizure” to file a petition with a federal court and additional time after the “Notice of Forfeiture” to contest the forfeiture.  If no petitions or claims are filed, the domain names become property of the U.S. government.

Said Nettles: “It’s important for consumers to understand the significant risks involved in purchasing pharmaceutical drugs from these websites.  The generic versions of these prescription drugs are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and cannot be distributed in the United States legally.  To be safe and effective, prescription drugs must be taken under the care and supervision of appropriate health care professionals; not purchased off the internet from unknown and unregulated foreign sources.”     

The case was investigated by Special Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations.   Assistant United States Attorney Eric Klumb is assigned to handle the forfeiture. 

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Updated April 26, 2016