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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty in Online Pharmacy Fraud Scheme

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Morgan City, Louisiana, pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Troy Tapia, 45, of Morgan City, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to four-counts before Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was informed that Troy Tapia fulfilled US orders from Duangthip Chutivaraporn who operated a series of online pharmacy web sites that offered a wide variety of prescription drugs for sale to United States customers without the need of a prescription or a medical history. There was no physician monitoring drugs used by the customers or requirement of any diagnosis in order to purchase or receive these prescription drugs. The site defrauded customers with false representations as to the legality of obtaining prescription drugs without a prescription. Tapia and another fulfilled orders for Nubain and Fioricet and received payment for their services by means of deposits of their portion of the sale proceeds to foreign bank accounts accessible to them by debit cards.

Judge Conti scheduled sentencing for Jan. 13, 2017, at 11 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 90 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul E. Hull is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; conducted the investigation leading to the information in this case.

Updated September 28, 2016