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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 9, 2016

Two South Florida Residents Charged with Conspiring to Misbrand and Sell Expired Gastric Banding Systems

Two South Florida residents charged with conspiring to misbrand and sell expired medical devices, Gastric Banding Systems, for profit.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Justin D. Green, Special Agent in Charge, United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

On December 8, 2016, Peter Lawrence Kafka, 57, of Parkland, Florida and Gregory Charles Grimm, 45, of Saint Petersburg, Florida were indicted on a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, three counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, a single count of conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and six counts of misbranding devices after shipment in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 331(k). 

According to the indictment, between June 2014 and October 15, 2015, Kafka and Grimm engaged in a scheme to unlawfully enrich themselves by misbranding LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding Systems, changing the serial number and expiration date in order to sell expired medical devices for profit.  Between June 2014 and August 2015, Kafka and Grimm were employees of Apollo Endosurgery, Inc., where they served as Senior Account Executives.

The indictment alleges that Kafka would purchase expired or nearly expired LAP-BANDS through the internet.  Kafka would then supply Grimm with these expired or nearly expired LAP-BANDs.  Grimm created false labels with fraudulent serial numbers and expiration dates to hide the true expiration date of the LAP-BANDs.  Grimm would then provide Kafka the misbranded LAP-BANDs, the labeling of which bore false expiration dates.  Kafka then sold the misbranded LAP-BANDs to local physicians.

The investigation began as a result of a referral by Apollo Endosurgery to the FDA.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FDA-OCI in this matter.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua S. Rothstein.

An indictment contains mere allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated December 9, 2016