SAN DIEGO – Former Carlsbad resident David Perez was sentenced in federal court today to 30 months in custody for selling unapproved “Energy Wave” medical devices over the internet and mailing them to customers throughout the United States.
According to admissions in his plea agreement, Perez marketed the “Energy Wave” device using the website www.myenergywave.com [external link]. The Energy Wave device consists of a micro-current frequency generator with a digital readout, two stainless steel cylinders, two personal application plates with connectors and lead wire for the cylinders and plates. Users were provided with an operating manual and a list of Auto Codes that set forth over 450 digital settings for the device, directed to treat specific conditions from abdominal pain, AIDS and diabetes to stroke, ulcer and worms. The Auto Codes and Manuel advised users to connect the cylinders or plates to the machine, and touch them to the body for a recommended run time to treat each condition.
David Perez admitted selling each device for approximately $1,200-$1,500, and receiving gross proceeds of approximately $271,000. He also acknowledged that he intended to defraud and mislead the Food and Drug Administration by attempting to evade the agency’s oversight of medical claims made regarding the Energy Wave device by maintaining a separate website (rifecodes.com) to which he referred customers who needed to obtain the auto codes that allegedly were used to treat the various medical conditions. Perez admitted that he knew or should have known a number of his customers were vulnerable because they had purchased the device in an attempt to cure cancer, and that they were marketing the device without the proper FDA approvals.
“It’s unconscionable to sell useless medical devices to critically ill people who are hoping for a miracle,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “This sentence reflects the serious nature of this crime, and our commitment to protecting those who are most vulnerable to being preyed upon by heartless predators.”
“This investigation uncovered a serious public health threat and should serve as a warning to those who put consumers at risk for their own financial gain,” said Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. “HSI agents will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, both here and abroad, to investigate medical-related fraud over the Internet, especially when it involves an online marketing scam, such as this case in which unregulated medical devices were sold under false pretense.”
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to ensure that the U.S. Postal Service isn't used as a conduit for those criminals who seek to perpetrate medical quackery upon the American consumer,” said Robert Wemyss, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Los Angeles Division. “This type of crime takes advantage of the most vulnerable segment of the population to include the elderly and terminally ill. The protection of our citizens remains the cornerstone of our mission.”
“Consumers rely on the FDA to ensure that the medical products they use, including medical devices, actually treat the diseases or conditions they claim to. When criminals sell misbranded devices not cleared by the FDA, they put users’ health at risk,” said Lisa L. Malinowski, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Los Angeles Field Office. “We will continue to devote our resources to removing such threats to the public’s health from the U.S. marketplace.”
DEFENDANT Criminal Case No. 15cr0360-BEN
David Perez Age: 60 Medford, Oregon
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy– Title 18, U.S.C., Section 371
Maximum penalty: Five years in prison and $250,000 fine
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations
Postal Inspection Service
Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations