June 22, 2011: U.S. Attorney Forfeiture Action Nets $4.5 Million from Landmark Prosecution
Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations
U.S. Department of Justice Press Release
For Immediate Release
June 22, 2011
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
Contact: Jim Martin
North Providence & East Providence Police Departments, RI State Police and RI Attorney General’s Office among those sharing in asset forfeiture proceeds from landmark Genescience Pharmaceutical case
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced today that four Rhode Island law enforcement agencies each have received between $270,000 and $900,000 in one of the largest distributions of assets as the result of a successful federal asset forfeiture action in Rhode Island. The agencies received equitable sharing of $4.5 million dollars netted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a result of the landmark prosecution of a Chinese drug manufacturer, Genescience Pharmaceutical Company and its CEO for illegally marketing human Growth Hormone in the United States.
The distribution of funds locally includes $900,000 to the North Providence Police Department; $450,000 to the East Providence Police Department; and $270,000 to both the Rhode Island State Police and the Rhode Island Office of the Attorney General. The funds must be used to increase or supplement resources of the law enforcement agencies.
In addition, the distribution includes $1.2 million to the Assets Forfeiture Fund, representing investigative work performed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A multi-agency task force anchored by the FDA - Office of Criminal Investigation developed evidence that resulted in the criminal charges and the forfeiture. $900,000 has also been distributed to the Treasury Forfeiture Fund for investigative work performed by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations Unit; and $585,000 to the Postal Service Forfeiture Fund representing investigative work performed by the United States Postal Service.
U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha noted, “I am pleased that this ground-breaking federal prosecution, which was a success on so many levels, has resulted in the distribution of such significant, forfeited amounts to state and local law enforcement agencies in Rhode Island. The defendants paid directly for their misconduct through the forfeiture of these assets, which will deter them and others from engaging in this type of misconduct.”
“The Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations takes great pride in the significance of this prosecution,” said Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of FDA/OCI’s New York Field Office. “This investigation was a textbook joint effort with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners. The asset forfeiture obtained in this case prevents the defendants from benefiting from their illegal scheme and provides much-needed resources to our state and local law enforcement partners in support of future investigative efforts.”
Genescience Pharmaceutical Company and its CEO, Lei Jin, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence in October 2010. The company and Jin jointly forfeited $4.5 million as a result of the criminal charges, and paid an additional $3 million to finance a Clean Competition Fund, administered by the Rhode Island Foundation, designed to counter the effects of illicit doping in sports. The distribution of funds was recently approved by the Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section of the Department of Justice and was disbursed at the direction of the U.S. Attorney by the U.S. Marshals Service in Providence.
In addition to the criminal forfeiture and assessments imposed in October and the recent dispersal of funds to Rhode Island law enforcement agencies, the company previously forfeited $2.7 million dollars which was linked to its hGH smuggling. Federal agents seized that money in 2007 from New York branches of Chinese banks in which Genescience maintained accounts.