U.S. Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 27, 2022
A South Florida man who founded a sports and dietary supplements retailer was sentenced today to 54 months in prison for conspiring to sell illegal anabolic steroids and other products marketed as dietary supplements that were unlawful under federal law.
According to court documents, Aaron Singerman, 41, of Delray Beach, Florida, founded and operated Blackstone Labs LLC, a Boca Raton-based sports and dietary supplements retailer. Singerman is the former CEO of Blackstone. U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas of the Southern District of Florida sentenced Singerman to 54 months in prison and ordered him to forfeit $2.9 million.
In pleading guilty, Singerman admitted to leading a conspiracy to sell products through Blackstone labeled as dietary supplements that were illegal under federal law because they were not approved by the FDA and were controlled substances. According to court documents, Blackstone defrauded the FDA as part of the scheme.
“Selling products labelled as dietary supplements that actually contain controlled substances and unapproved drugs is illegal and potentially dangerous,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will work with its law enforcement partners to prosecute dietary supplement makers who ignore the law and disregard public safety for monetary gain.”
“Drug products that are disguised as dietary supplements can pose a risk to the health of U.S. consumers,” said Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI) Miami Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who jeopardize the public health.”
Singerman specifically admitted that he conspired with others from 2012 through 2017 to sell products that were unapproved new drugs and/or illegal controlled substances under the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act. The defendant admitted that he and his co-conspirators lied to consumers by characterizing Blackstone products as safe and legal dietary supplements. In addition, he falsely represented that the products were made in “FDA approved” registered facilities that followed all required regulations, when in fact they were not. Singerman also admitted to controlling a supplement manufacturer that fraudulently imported raw ingredients for their products from China. Singerman admitted to selling other products in violation of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, including the synthetic stimulants DMAA and DMBA, and the chemical picamilon. Singerman and his co-conspirators ignored injury reports from consumers and did not notify the FDA of such complaints, even when required by law.
Six additional individual defendants and three other corporations previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the conspiracy. One additional defendant, James Boccuzzi, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to defraud the FDA following a jury trial in December 2021. All 10 of these additional defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Dimitrouleas in February.
FDA OCI investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Alistair Reader and Stephen Gripkey, Senior Litigation Counsel David Frank and Assistant Director John W. Burke of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch are prosecuting the cases with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Daren Grove of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. Laura Akowuah, Brian Furlong and Sarah Hawkins from the FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel provided assistance with the investigation and prosecution.
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