Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

March 14, 2012: Brownsville Woman Arrested for Selling Fake Botox

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Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release


For Immediate Release
March 14, 2012

United States Attorney
Southern District of Texas
Contact: Angela Dodge
Public Affairs Officer
(713) 567-9388


BROWNSVILLE, Texas - Gloria Olvido-Lopez, 43, of Brownsville, Texas, has been charged with selling misbranded Botox, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Olvido-Lopez was arrested today by agents with the Food Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI). She is expected to make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Morgan tomorrow morning at 10:00.

The indictment, returned Tuesday, March 13, 2012, and unsealed today upon her arrest, charges Olvido-Lopez with one count of conspiracy to sell misbranded drugs and two counts of misbranding drugs while held for sale.

The indictment accuses Olvido-Lopez of offering a substance for sale under the name “Botox” and having sold the alleged “Botox” to undercover agents on two occasions in 2010. The substances were tested and found not to contain Botox or its active ingredient, according to the indictment.

As stated in the indictment, the FDA is charged with the responsibility of protecting the health and safety of the American public by ensuring the safety and effectiveness of drugs distributed in the United States, among other things. Under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, a drug is “misbranded” if the drug and its container is so made, formed or filled as to be misleading, if it is an imitation of another drug or if it is offered for sale under the name of another drug, among other things. “Botox,” the trade name for botulinum toxin type A, is a trademark of the Allergan corporation and, as such, is the only authorized manufacturer of “Botox” within the United States.

The indictment indicates Olvido-Lopez did not purchase the “Botox” from Allergan, but rather from foreign sources at a cheaper price. Olvido-Lopez advertised the sale if the substance through her business as publicized in a local publication and through eBay Inc.

Olvido-Lopez faces up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 for the conspiracy charge, if convicted, in addition to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each of the misbranding charges.

The case is a result of an investigation by FDA-OCI and ICE-HSI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Leonard.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

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