Owner Of ACS Herbal Tea Company Pleads Guilty
A resident of Middletown, Ohio pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and one count of Introduction of Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
David Neal, 61, pleaded guilty to a two-count Information before Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Neal is the owner ACS Herbal Tea Company, a national Internet business located in Middletown, Ohio. Neal, using ACS Herbal Tea Company and the Internet websites www.123zip.com and www.passthetest.com, conspired to defraud the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the United States Department of Heath and Human Services by obstructing and interfering with the lawful governmental functions of SAMHSA in overseeing, monitoring and establishing scientific and technical guidelines for federal workplace drug testing programs, and standards for certification of laboratories engaged in urine drug testing for federal agencies and federally-regulated industries, under the Federal Agency Drug-Free Work Place Program. For the past eight years, through the Internet websites www.123zip.com and www.passthetest.com, Neal sold, in interstate commerce, products such as the “Magnum Unisex Synthetic Urine-Never Fail a Urine Drug Test” and “Urine Luck” to customers who intended to use the products for the purpose of defeating federal, and federally regulated, employment drug urine tests overseen by SAMHSA. Some of the products sold through Neal’s websites were drugs, as defined by the Food and Drug Administration, but did not bear appropriate labeling.
Judge Conti scheduled sentencing for May 13, 2015. The law provides for a total sentence of 6 years in prison, a fine of $350,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Pending sentencing, the court released the defendant an unsecured $10,000 bond
Assistant United States Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Neal.