Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

September 24, 2012: Bay Area Resident Sentenced in Illicit Internet Pharmacy Sales

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Food and Drug Administration
Office of Criminal Investigations

U.S. Department of Justice Press Release


For Immediate Release
September 24, 2012

United States Attorney
Southern District of California
Contact: Melanie K. Pierson
Assistant U.S. Attorney
(619) 546-7976


United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced today that a Bay Area resident, Ian Fischman, was sentenced to serve six months in custody, followed by six months of home detention, and was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and to forfeit $100,000 for his role in an illicit internet pharmacy. Fischman, who had been living in Mexico at the time of the offense, pled guilty to conspiring to launder money.

At the time of his plea, Fischman acknowledged that between May 22, 2002, and November 27, 2007, he conspired to sell $400,000 of prescription pharmaceuticals via the Internet, and through the mail, to over 250 persons in the United States without a valid prescription. The pharmaceuticals supplied by Fischman included "generic" Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Propecia and other lifestyle drugs, as well as hundreds of others medications, including Carisoprodal, which requires a prescription to be sold in the United States. Fischman admitted that he knew it was unlawful for him to supply pharmaceuticals in this manner.

In addition, Fischman admitted that he arranged to have pharmaceuticals manufactured in Mexico and India illegally imported into the United States to be shipped to internet pharmacy customers. The proceeds from the sales were deposited in the accounts of credit card processing firms, and then transferred to bank accounts in Mexico and Switzerland, through banks in San Diego and San Francisco, in order to conceal their source. Fischman also acknowledged that he utilized Western Union to receive payments for the illegally imported pharmaceuticals, directing customers to send their payments to Mexico in the names of persons other than himself in order to conceal and disguise their source.

In sentencing Fischman, the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan noted that it was a very serious offense to sell pharmaceuticals to persons known not to have a valid prescription.

Criminal Case No. 08cr2936-W
Ian Alexander Fischman
Age: 45
Woodside, California
Conspiracy to Launder Money, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h)
Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations
Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation

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