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Arizona Company and CEO Plead Guilty to the Distribution of Drugs Not Approved by the FDA and Will Pay $2.4 Million

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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire 

Monday, October 30, 2023

CONCORD – An Arizona company and CEO pleaded guilty today in federal court in Concord for distributing drugs into the interstate commerce that were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announces.

Centera Bioscience, d/b/a Nootropics Depot, and its CEO, Paul Eftang, 38, pleaded guilty to the introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.  U.S. Magistrate Judge Talesha Saint-Marc scheduled sentencing for February 5, 2024.

Between April 2017 and December 2021, Centera Biosicence and Mr. Eftang marketed pharmaceutical drugs, including tianeptine, adrafinil, phenibut, and racetams, on Nootropicsdepot.com and online platforms like Facebook and Google.  They sold the drugs to customers across the United States.  Centera Bioscience employees and Mr. Eftang also regularly made representations about the company’s drugs through a Reddit forum dedicated to Centera Bioscience products.  As part of the plea, Centera Bioscience has agreed to forfeit $2.4 million.  Centera Bioscience has also agreed to forfeit all tianeptine, adrafinil, phenibut, and racetams seized by the FDA and Customs and Border Protection.

FDA has not approved drugs containing tianeptine, adrafinil, phenibut, and racetams for use in the United States.  Racetam drugs include piracetam, aniracetam, and coluracetam, and phenylpiracetam. 

The Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and U.S. Postal Inspection Service led the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander S. Chen and Geoffrey W.R. Ward, and FDA Special Counsel Sarah Hawkins are prosecuting the case.  



USAO - New Hampshire

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