Four Family Members Charged in Multi-State Conspiracy to Sell Counterfeit Erectile Dysfunction Drugs
FRESNO, CA—Four family members have been charged with conspiring to traffic in counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
On August 28, 2014, a federal grand jury in Fresno returned an indictment charging Holly Gitmed, 38, of Riverbank in Stanislaus County, her ex-husband John Gitmed, 52, of Los Angeles; his daughter Felicia Gitmed, 23, of Los Angeles; and his nephew Anthony Pollino Jr., 36, of Los Angeles, with a conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and commit mail fraud and with trafficking in counterfeit goods.
According to court documents, between February 9, 2012, and February 27, 2014, the defendants ran a business called the “California Confidence Company” that bought counterfeit copies of the erectile-dysfunction drugs Viagra®, Cialis®, and Levitra®, along with genuine looking packaging from foreign suppliers and middlemen, including suppliers based in China. They posted online advertisements and sold the counterfeit drugs to consumers throughout California, in the Las Vegas area, and in other states. The defendants advertised the sale of “genuine” erectile dysfunction drugs, and sold the drugs in person or shipped them to customers who responded to the advertisements.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Michael G. Tierney is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.