Former top employee of workout supplement manufacturer convicted of misleading consumers
McALLEN, Texas – A 26-year-old former leader at Science Production Products LLC (SPP) admitted he committed a felony relating to importing and selling misbranded drugs, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Robert Lance Schuffert, 28, Auburn, Alabama, entered a guilty plea to one count of importing, causing misbranding and distributing misbranded drugs for sale with the intent to mislead and defraud the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and consumers.
Schuffert admitted SPP smuggled Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) into the United States, such as Ostarine from China. He also admitted the company caused SARMs to become misbranded drugs and sold them to workout supplement brick-and-mortar retailers throughout the United States. This included a retailer located in McAllen.
The FDA has warned against the use of SARMs like those found in SPP’s products. They issued a public safety alert in 2017, which advised consumers against ingesting workout supplement products containing SARMs. The FDA reported that these products were linked to life-threatening reactions, including liver toxicity and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
As part of his plea, Schuffert also admitted he intended to mislead and defraud the FDA and consumers. He knowingly smuggled mislabeled containers containing SARMs into the United States from China and used false and fraudulent certificates of analysis. He also utilized various consignee names, freight forwarders and private mailboxes to conceal SPP’s true identity and deceived authorities as to the true nature of the smuggled drugs.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane will impose sentencing May 3. At that time, Schuffert faces up to three years in prison and a possible $10,000 maximum fine.
Schuffert was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
The FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation and FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Asha Natarajan and Andrew Swartz are prosecuting the case.