Port Angeles Naturopath Sentenced to Prison for Distributing Hormone Drug for Weight Loss
Second Conviction for Distributing Misbranded Drugs
A Port Angeles, Washington naturopath, who lost his license for illegally distributing a human hormone (HCG) in 2013, was sentenced to prison today for his second felony conviction for similar conduct related to misbranded prescription drugs, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. RICHARD MARSCHALL, 65, operates the Natural Healing Clinic in Port Angeles, and despite having his license to practice naturopathy and his DEA registration number suspended, continued to provide hormones to patients for weight loss – including patients he never examined but only met via the phone or internet. U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton sentenced MARSCHALL to two months in prison and a $2,000 fine saying, “Dr. Marschall tempted fate after a prior conviction. This is a serious offense.”
“This defendant flouted the laws that are designed to keep patients safe,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “Even after he was convicted for acting illegally, Richard Marschall continued to provide hormones to patients without any basis in medical science. This prison sentence is necessary to send the message that this conduct must end.”
According to federal court records, MARSCHALL was convicted and sentenced to two years of probation in 2011 for introducing misbranded drugs into commerce. Following that conviction, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) suspended MARSCHALL’s naturopathy license in November 2013. Despite that suspension, DOH learned MARSCHALL continued to practice and ordered a further 18 month suspension. MARSCHALL has not had a valid license to practice naturopathy since November 2013. Nevertheless, MARSCHALL continued to treat patients and illegally provided them with a type of human hormone that is sometimes prescribed for infertility. MARSCHALL was providing it and promoting HCG as a weight loss drug.
In September 2016, two DOH investigators went undercover as patients and listened as MARSCHALL touted HCG for weight-loss and described how he would set up a program of injections for them. Later that fall, MARSCHALL communicated via email with an undercover FDA, Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) investigator and conducted a one-hour telephone screening before sending her HCG through the mail. MARSCHALL never met or examined the ‘patient’ before mailing the drugs to her at a Portland, Oregon address. MARSCHALL obtained the HCG from pharmacies by lying about the status of his license and his DEA registration number.
As part of his sentence MARSCHALL will be on one year of supervised release. U. S. Probation will work with Washington State Department of Health regarding the status of MARSCHALL’s currently suspended naturopath license.
The case was investigated by the Washington State Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Diggs.