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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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June 29, 2011: An Illinois Man was Convicted in Federal Court of Illegally Distributing Prescription Drugs

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Food and Drug Administration 
Office of Criminal Investigations

 


 

 

             U.S. Department of Justice Press Release 

 

 

For Immediate Release

June 29, 2011

United States Attorney

District of Massachusetts

(617) 748-3100

 

BOSTON, Mass. - An Illinois man was convicted in federal court late yesterday of illegally distributing prescription drugs and using the Internet to facilitate a drug crime.

STEVEN B. IMMERGLUCK, 35, of Aurora, Illinois, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Denise Casper to one count of conspiracy to distribute and dispense Schedule III and IV controlled substances, and two counts of illegal use of a communication facility to facilitate a drug crime.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that between September 2006 and October 2008, IMMERGLUCK was involved in a conspiracy to possess, distribute and dispense prescriptions that were issued outside of the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. IMMERGLUCK distributed Phendimetrazine Tartrate, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Lorazepam, Phentermine, Phentermine Blue, and Phentermine Yellow, among others, without valid prescriptions.

IMMERGLUCK was a sales representative for Freight Savers Express in Chicago (a reseller for the express mail package delivery service DHL) which handled the interstate delivery of drug orders for Internet Pharmacy customers. Drug orders shipped were delivered without customers having a valid prescription. Specifically, after customers completed online medical questionnaires, prescriptions were authorized without a doctor/patient relationship. Of the "doctors" who authorized the prescriptions, two gave up their medical licenses after admitting they worked for Internet Pharmacies. Two other individuals admitted their participation; however, the illegal pharmacies continued to use their names in the conspiracy without their authorization.

IMMERGLUCK and his superior knew that the enterprise was illegal as they had knowledge of the business and their relationship with other pharmacies who dispensed controlled substances via the Internet. In addition to contracting the delivery of the drugs to the customers, in order to increase their business, IMMERGLUCK and his superior went further and recruited pharmacists and doctors to work for their Internet Pharmacy customers, including Global Access and other Internet pharmacies.

IMMERGLUCK recruited Meetinghouse Community Pharmacy in Dorchester which was the primary fulfillment pharmacy for Global Access and other Internet Pharmacy operations. Between September 2006 and September 2008, approximately 35,075 packages of controlled substances were ordered through Global Access (reflected in about 89 invoices) and picked up at Meetinghouse by DHL. According to invoices attached to the email communications and bank records, Freight Savers received just under $475,000 for the deliveries of controlled and non-controlled substances for just this one illegal Internet Pharmacy enterprise. IMMERGLUCK knowingly and intentionally used a communication facility, namely electronic mail via the Internet, to send and receive e-mail in order to facilitate the illegal activity.

Judge Casper scheduled sentencing for September 20th. For the conspiracy, IMMERGLUCK faces up to 10 years in prison to be followed by not less than two years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000. On the remaining charge, the defendant faces up to four years in prison to be followed by not more than three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each of the counts.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz ; Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England; Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations of the New York Field Office; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary Elizabeth Carmody and Shelbey D. Wright of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.