BAY CITY, MI – A Texas woman has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for selling mislabeled and potentially fatal diet pills to Michigan residents, officials said.
In June, Judith Holloway, 34, of Watauga, Texas, pleaded guilty before U.S. investigating judge Patricia Morris to charges relating to the online sale of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), a toxic diet pill which has never been approved for humans. consumption. Holloway was sentenced on Wednesday October 6.
“This sentence should send a clear message to those who would profit from the sale of dangerous unapproved drugs that we will use every tool at our disposal to vigorously prosecute you in order to protect the health and safety of the general public,” Acting said. Prosecutor Saima Mohsin. “We urge everyone to refrain from ingesting DNP for any reason.”
Ingestion of DNP causes rapid weight loss, but is also associated with cataracts, hyperthermia, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, and death. In 1938, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared DNP extremely dangerous and announced that it would prosecute those who manufacture and distribute it for human use.
Holloway was charged in October 2020 with five counts of bringing a new drug into interstate commerce, punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of $ 10,000; and seven counts of bringing a mislabelled drug into interstate commerce, punishable by one year in prison and a fine of $ 1,000.
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According to the indictment, between October 2018 and May 2020, Holloway sold DNP to consumers across the country, including residents of Saginaw and Washtenaw counties in Michigan. The product was sold through eBay and other websites and was mislabeled as “yellow pigment powder”.
When eBay removed Holloway’s listings for violating company policies prohibiting the sale of unsafe items, it simply re-listed DNP using a different email address and fake label; this has happened three times, according to court documents.
“Ignoring FDA requirements and selling dangerous unapproved drugs online can seriously harm those who use them,” said Lynda M. Burdelik, special agent in charge of the FDA’s Chicago office of criminal investigations. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who endanger the health of consumers.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Regina R. McCullough and investigated by special agents of the Food and Drug Administration.
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