Dietary supplement owner Chenhsin Chan (aka Paul Chan) has been convicted on 30 felony counts of selling online dietary supplements that contain the banned drug ephedrine, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.
Chan, who sold the products under the company name The Wholesale Source LLC, was convicted on 10 counts of mail fraud, 10 counts of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, five counts of knowingly distributing a listed chemical without obtaining the required registration, and five counts of money laundering.
Chan, 44, generated more than $4.5 million in sales of dietary supplements containing ephedrine, but the jury forfeited assets he purchased with funds from the crimes, including a $950,000 New York property, a Mercedes Benz, a Lamborghini Gallardo, and more than $666,000 in proceeds.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned sales of ephedrine in 2004, after the agency determined that the drug presented an “unreasonable risk of injury or illness” based on scientific evidence that showed the drug was linked to heart attacks and strokes. The product was sold as a weight loss aid and performance enhancer.
In 2005, Chan admitted to the FDA that his company was distributing dietary supplements containing ephedrine. The FDA warned him that his actions were illegal, however he continued to sell dietary supplements containing ephedrine through August 2012.
Furthermore, the DOJ provided evidence at trial showing Chan had received a warning in packages of ephedrine that it was unlawful to sell the drug in the U.S. However, Chan continued to do so. The indictment against Chan also claimed that his website denied ephedrine was illegal and that it had been approved by the FDA to treat asthma, colds, allergies and “any other disease.”
Chan’s case is the latest battle in the government’s fight to clean up dietary supplements sold in the U.S. that contain undeclared or unlawful ingredients that pose a risk to consumers.
Source: Dietary Supplement Insider