A federal grand jury in San Diego has indicted 18 individuals on racketeering and related charges for allegedly operating an Internet business that generated more than $126 million in gross revenues from the illegal sale of prescription pharmaceuticals. From August 2004 through June 2006, the online pharmaceutical distribution network Affpower enterprise allegedly received over 1 million Internet orders for controlled and non-controlled prescription pharmaceuticals from customers in all 50 states.
The defendants were charged variously with racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering; distribution and dispensing of controlled substances and conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances; mail and wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and conspiracy to dispense and dispensing of misbranded drugs with the intent to defraud and mislead.
If convicted, the defendants face the following maximum prison sentences: 20 years in prison for RICO and RICO conspiracy; 20 years for mail and wire fraud; 20 years for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud; five years for conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances; 20 years for money laundering; five years for conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), and three years for violating the FDCA. The defendants also face millions of dollars in fines.