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Press Release

Couple with Ties to the Fitness Industry Admits Distributing Unapproved Drugs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA - Two residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiring to defraud the United States, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Thomas Mouton, age 34, and Sara Mouton, age 36, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Ranjan to conspiracy to defraud the United States and an agency thereof, specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from a date uncertain in 2018 and continuing thereafter until around May 2019, Thomas Mouton along with his wife, Sara Mouton, who was active in the fitness and body-building industry, conspired with each other, and with other persons known and unknown to the United States Attorney, to distribute steroids to consumers in the United States, through the internet and through personal acquaintance, including drugs or performance enhancers that counteract the side effects of steroid abuse. None of the drugs the defendants distributed were approved by the FDA, and the defendants were not permitted to distribute the drugs without the approval of the FDA. Substances distributed by the defendants were misbranded and included misleading labeling that did not include accurate drug/active ingredient names, labeling that did not contain adequate directions for use, and labeling that did not contain the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor. The court was advised that the defendants acted with the intent to defraud the FDA, by impeding, impairing, obstructing, and defeating the ability of the FDA to regulate the manufacturing, labeling, and distribution of drugs in the United States.

“Thomas and Sara Mouton began by distributing steroids to their associates in the fitness and body building industry, but their business ultimately expanded through word of mouth to serving a couple hundred clients,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kaufman. “Individuals who defraud the FDA will be held accountable for their crimes.”

“The requirements that prescription drugs are labeled appropriately and approved by FDA before they are marketed help ensure the health and safety of consumers,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark S. McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office. "The FDA will continue to aggressively pursue those who place the public health at risk.”

Judge Ranjan scheduled sentencing for March 3, 2022. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Cook is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service, along with the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Thomas and Sara Mouton.

Updated November 3, 2021

Topic
Prescription Drugs