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Press Release

Local Firm and Owners Plead Guilty to Fraud and Illegal Sale of Pesticides

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

For Further Information, Contact:
Assistant U. S. Attorney Melanie K. Pierson (619) 546-7976

SAN DIEGO – Integral Hygienic Solutions, Inc, dba TruClean, a La Mesa-based sanitation company, pleaded guilty in federal court today to defrauding customers by falsely claiming that its antimicrobial cleaning product was tested and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The company had claimed that its antimicrobial product, TruClean 365, eliminates bacteria and viruses, including Covid-19, on treated surfaces for one year with a single application. The company also claimed that its product had been submitted to the antimicrobials division at the EPA for testing and that the EPA had validated their claim of one year of effectiveness through “rigorous testing.”

At the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, the defendants put TruClean’s own labels on bottles of chemical products purchased from a chemical company on the East Coast. Ray Louis Smith Jr., Ramont Joseph Smith, and TruClean then marketed, sold, and distributed the newly re-labeled products as providing year-long protection against infection from viruses, including the virus that causes Covid-19, on its social media pages and its website.

Products represented to kill viruses in the environment are regulated by the EPA as pesticides. None of the products sold under the TruClean name was registered as a pesticide by the EPA, as required by law. Pesticides that are unregistered may not be sold or distributed in the United States. In pleading guilty, the company admitted that it sold over $800,000 worth of the unregistered pesticides.

"The defendants tried to gain commercial advantage during the pandemic by falsely claiming that the federal government had tested and validated their product,” said U.S. Attorney Randy S. Grossman. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to investigating and prosecuting criminal cases to assist in protecting the  public from frauds such as this.” Grossman thanked the prosecution team and investigating agencies for their excellent work on this case.

“The defendants in this case knowingly persisted in their false assertions that their pesticide application provided protection against COVID-19,” said Special Agent in Charge Scot Adair of EPA’s criminal program in California. “As this case demonstrates, EPA and its law enforcement partners are committed to holding responsible parties accountable for false claims that put entire communities at risk.”

“This case demonstrates the EPA Office of Inspector General’s commitment to investigate crimes that undermine the integrity of EPA programs and defraud consumers,” said Special Agent in Charge Garrett J. Westfall of the U.S. EPA OIG. “Our investigative team and law enforcement partners held the subjects accountable by quickly uncovering the potential harm to health and safety and by exposing the false claims promoted by TruClean 365.”

“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) along with our government partners are committed to protecting the American public against criminal networks attempting to illegally sell products that could endanger lives of U.S. consumers for financial gain,” said HSI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz. “We remain vigilant and will use our broad legal authorities to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks seeking to exploit and benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This case was prosecuted jointly by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section.

Sentencing is set for Feb 24, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Todd Robinson.

DEFENDANTS Case Number 22cr2607-TWR  
Integral Hygienic Solutions, Inc. Incorporated: 2020 Sheridan, WY
Ray Louis Smith, Jr.   San Diego, California
Ramont Joseph Smith    San Diego, California








Count 1 (Integral Hygienic Solutions, Inc. only)
Wire Fraud – Title 18, U.S.C., Section 1343
Maximum penalty: Five years of probation for a corporation and/or a fine of $500,000, or twice the unlawful gain or loss

Count 2 (all defendants)
Unlawful Sale/Distribution of Pesticides – Title 7, U.S C., Sections 136j and 136l
Maximum penalty: One year in custody and/or a fine of $100,000


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division and Office of Inspector General; Homeland Security Investigations; California Department of Toxic Substances Control

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at:

Updated December 2, 2022

Press Release Number: CAS22-1201-TruClean