Distributor gets time in prison for pushing dangerous diet pills

bathroom scale iStock CROPPED Distributor gets time in prison for pushing dangerous diet pillsA man selling dietary supplements and weight loss pills was sentenced to 11 months in federal prison plus two years of supervised release for pushing capsules that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said were misbranded and contained heart-harming and cancer-causing ingredients.

U.S. Chief District Judge Laurie Smith Camp issued the order on Paul D. Martin, of Kearney, Neb., owner of Slim Beauty USA. He reportedly sold the offending producs, Dr. Ming’s Chinese Capsule, Magic Slim and Dream Body Slimming Capsules, at his Slim Beauty USA business, online at, and on eBay.

In 2014, the FDA sent Camp a letter waning him to stop selling the dietary supplements after an agency laboratory analysis found that the products contained sibutramine, the active ingredient in Meridia, a prescription weight loss drug approved by the FDA in 1997, but pulled from the market in 2010 after data showed sibutramine could increase the risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Martin’s products were also found to contain phenolphthalein, an active ingredient in some over-the-counter laxatives until 1999, when the FDA reclassified the ingredient as “not generally recognized as safe and effective.

The FDA also cited Martin for selling misbranded products because the drug ingredients were not listed on products’ label, as required by law.

Martin was indicted last year after the FDA discovered that he was still selling the products. He pleaded guilty to one count each of delivery of misbranded drugs, mail fraud and wire fraud.

“Selling purported dietary supplement drugs that contain undeclared drug ingredients places the public’s health at risk,” Acting Special Agent in Charge Spencer E. Morrison of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Kansas City field office, told the Lincoln Journal Star. “Our office will continue to target our resources to ensure that medicines for U.S. consumers are safe, effective and properly labeled.”

Journal Star