Wow. Just Wow.
This press release sez it all…
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Michigan business owner pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a conspiracy to fraudulently market dietary supplements over the Internet with illegal claims that these supplements could prevent, treat or cure a number of diseases. Several Web sites were used to sell nearly $12 million worth of the products in 2005 and 2006.
…Pham sold $11,954,648 worth of those products in 2005 and 2006, using several different Web sites. Web sites used by Techmedica contained materially false testimonials, product information, and identification of medical professionals.
Techmedica fabricated fraudulent customer identities using photographs purchased from Istockphoto.com. Testimonials attributed to these fraudulent identities touted the effectiveness of the unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs. Techmedica also posted one of the Istockphoto.com photographs on their Web sites to fabricate a non-existent physician, Dr. Judy Hamilton, for the purpose of lending authenticity to and endorsing product claims about Diabeticine for customers with Type I and Type II diabetes. The person identified as Dr. Hamilton was in fact a model from California. This same model’s photograph was also used by Pham on another Web site to fabricate a non-existent nurse, Bethany Hunt, RN, to tout the effectiveness of the unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs.
Techmedica, through Pham, in an effort to defraud the United States by impeding, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the FDA, operated several Web sites using mirror image technology. The use of this technology assured that when each of these Web sites was accessed from an FDA network computer, they displayed a “sanitized” version of the Web site containing medical claims that attempted to comply with the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). However, when each of these Web sites was accessed from a computer whose IP address could not be traced to the FDA, they displayed claims that the dietary supplements could cure, mitigate, treat, and prevent diseases, so that these supplements were sold as unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs.
Pham is facing a sentence of up to 25 years in Stripe City. But no sentence is long enough for creeps like this who prey on people with diabetes and other diseases. They should just throw the key away.