Florida and Nevada—Six people and two companies—Blackstone Labs and Ventech Labs—were charged in a scheme to distribute illegal dietary supplements, according to a press release from the Department of Justice.
According to the release, the indictment alleges that the defendants sold hundreds of thousands of illegal products, including anabolic steroids, nationwide and internationally, fraudulently claiming the products were high-quality, legal supplements. The release cites the indictment as saying the defendants created an illicit manufacturing company and routed sales of illegal products through trusted distributors, knowing that their actions were illegal.
Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said in the release, “Fraud by supplement manufacturers and distributors is extremely dangerous for consumers, who rightly assume that a dietary supplement product sold in stores or online will not contain unapproved drugs. These products are not safe and that is why we will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those who import, manufacture, and distribute dangerous and illegal ingredients for fraudulent purposes.”
All defendants, according to the release, were charged with one count of a conspiracy to defraud consumers and the FDA by selling products labeled as dietary supplements that contained various illegal ingredients. Phillip Braun, co-owner of Blackstone Labs, and Aaron Singerman, a former company owner, were charged with two counts of introducing an unapproved new drug into interstate commerce.
The release says the case is being prosecuted by attorneys from the Consumer Protection Branch of the Department of Justice.
Further information, including a complete list of names and charges, can be found here.