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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New York Man Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Role in Sales of Illegally Diverted Prescription Drugs

CINCINNATI – Albert D. Nassar, 59, of New York City, was sentenced to 12 months in prison for conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with the illegal sale of prescription drugs bearing false pedigrees that misrepresented the sources and origins of the drugs.

Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Antoinette Henry, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, and Christopher White, Assistant Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Sandra S. Beckwith.

Nassar pleaded guilty on April 21, 2015. According to court documents, Nassar, the owner of Worldwide Management Consultants, Inc., participated with others in a scheme between 2007 and 2009 to obtain prescription drugs from various illicit or unknown sources - known as diverted drugs - and then resell the drugs to unwitting wholesale drug companies using false pedigrees. The false pedigrees showed legitimate authorized distributors as the source of the drugs, when, the drugs were obtained outside lawful channels.

Other conspirators included Michael Schoenwald, 71, a Hollywood, Florida-based urologist, and Gregory Pfizenmayer, 46, the owner of G & D Enterprises in Foley, Alabama.

As part of the conspiracy, Schoenwald obtained Lupron, an injectable drug used to treat prostate cancer, from the manufacturer at discounted rates due to his status as a health care provider. Federal law prohibits the resale of such drugs by health care providers.

Nassar directed Schoenwald to ship the Lupron to Pfizenmayer, who in turn sold the drugs to wholesale drug companies, providing false pedigrees that concealed the illicit source of the drugs.

Other prescription drugs allegedly involved in the conspiracy included Procrit, used to treat anemia in patients with kidney failure, and Neulasta, used to prevent infections in patients undergoing chemotherapy. The drugs were shipped with the false pedigrees by mail to drug wholesalers in New Jersey, Mississippi and Ohio, and each conspirator received payments including by wire transfer.

Pfizenmayer pleaded guilty on February 2, 2011 and Schoenwald pleaded guilty on February 16, 2012. Both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and received sentences of one day in prison.

Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by the FDA and Postal Inspectors, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Christy Muncy, who represented the United States in this case. 

Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated September 16, 2016