December 20, 2017: Fitchburg Woman Pleads Guilty to Role in Counterfeit Steroid Conspiracy
BOSTON - A Fitchburg woman pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to trafficking steroids.
Elizabeth Green, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances before U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs, who scheduled sentencing for March 15, 2018. Green and six others were charged in April 2017 for their roles in the conspiracy.
According to court documents, from approximately November 2015 until April 12, 2017, the conspirators manufactured steroid products made from raw materials that they purchased overseas and marketed as “Onyx” steroids using “Onyx” labels that were also ordered from overseas suppliers. Onyx, now owned by Amgen Inc., is a legitimate pharmaceutical company that does not manufacture steroids.
The defendants allegedly sold the steroids to customers across the United States using email and social media platforms, collected payment through money remitters, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, and used false identifications and multiple remitter locations to pick up the proceeds. Some of the defendants laundered proceeds from the steroid sales through Wicked Tan LLC, a tanning business in Beverly, which they owned and operated specifically to launder the proceeds of the steroid operation.
Green’s role in the conspiracy was to collect customer payments from money remitters using false identifications and provide those proceeds to another member of the organization. Green retrieved more than $220,000 in customer payments for steroid purchases.
The charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss of the conspiracy. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Harman Burkart and David J. D’Addio of Weinreb’s Cybercrime Unit are prosecuting the case.