St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - Two Israeli men are sentenced with smuggling counterfeit and misbranded drugs into the United States, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Tuesday.
59-year-old Benny Carmi and 39-year-old Moshe Dahan admitted to smuggling in then selling counterfeit prescription drugs in the U.S., including the erectile dysfunction drug Cialis.
According to court documents, the two men operated an Internet business in Israel that used multiple websites to illegally sell large amounts of prescription drugs to purchasers in the U.S., many of those customers being from Missouri.
The government says they conducted a series of undercover purchases of drugs from some of these websites. Some of the packages they received contained drugs that were imported to St. Louis from China and India, with the exterior packaging falsely describing the contents of the shipments as 'gifts' that had 'no commercial value'.
The government put their purchases through laboratory testing that found them to be counterfeit versions of genuine FDA-approved drugs, such as Cialis and Meridia. Additionally, some of the drugs contained less than the amount of active drug ingredient that was specified in the labeling.
Carmi is sentenced to 10 months in prison, a criminal fine of $30,000 and a forfeiture of $50,000 to the U.S. Dahan is sentenced to one year of probation, a criminal fine of $15,000 and a forfeiture of $15,000 to the U.S.
The Internet domain names of Carmi and Dahan's illegal drug websites were also forfeited.