“MyRxForLess” Owners Guilty of Importing Phony Phamaceuticals from Mexico

“MyRxForLess” Owners Guilty of Importing Phony Phamaceuticals from Mexico

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United States Attorney Carol C. Lam announced today that three of the principals of an Internet pharmacy business known as “MyRxForLess” pled guilty in federal district court in San Diego before United States District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller to federal charges related to their roles in an Internet pharmacy scheme. Charles William Naron pled guilty to conspiracy, conspiracy to launder money and to criminal forfeiture. In his plea, Naron admitted that beginning in December 2002, and continuing up to the time of his arrest on November 5, 2004, he, together with Stephen Lewis and Pamela Lewis, operated an Internet pharmacy business, known as MyRxForLess, located in Lake Worth, Florida. Naron acknowledged that MyRxForLess had a website by which customers could order prescription drugs without having a prior prescription. The website falsely stated that all the drugs were obtained from a reputable Mexican pharmacy, and falsely indicated that individuals could lawfully import a 90-day supply of prescription pharmaceuticals into the United States from Mexico.

Naron also admitted that he and his co-conspirators arranged to have Reynaldo Ortiz and others purchase pharmaceuticals in Mexico and ship them to the customers of MyRxForLess through the mails. Naron further admitted that he purchased monthly shipments of “generic” Viagra and “generic” Cialis from Mark Kolowich, in San Diego, California, knowing that these pharmaceuticals were not made by the manufacturers which own the trademarks and tradenames for Viagra and Cialis. Instead, these “generic” drugs were manufactured for Kolowich by persons in India and Mexico. Naron admitted that he directed Reynaldo Ortiz and others in Mexico to package the “generic” pharmaceuticals in small envelopes and send them to customers by mail, according to the order forms from customers which were retrieved from the website for MyRxForLess. The value of the illegal pharmaceuticals sold by MyRxForLess for the period from December 2002, to November 5, 2004, was between $1 million and $2.5 million.

DEFENDANTS
Charles William Naron Criminal Case No. 04-CR-2987-JM Lake Worth, Florida
Stephen Phillip Lewis Criminal Case No. 04-CR-3068-JM Boynton Beach, Florida
Pamela June Lewis Criminal Case No. 04-CR-3067-JM Boynton Beach, Florida

SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 (all defendants)
Maximum Penalty: 5 years in custody and/or $250,000 fine
Conspiracy to Launder Money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h)
(As to defendants: Charles William Naron and Stephen Phillip Lewis)
Maximum Penalty: 20 years in custody and/or $500,000 fine
Criminal Forfeiture, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 981 or 982 (all defendants)

AGENCIES
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Food and Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations
Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations
Division Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
Chula Vista Police Department