Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
The defendant promised to restore the health of terminally ill dogs and allegedly defrauded pet owners of hundreds of thousands of dollars
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Jonathan Nyce, 70, of Collegeville, PA, was charged by Indictment with wire fraud and the interstate shipment of misbranded animal drugs. The charges arise from a years-long scheme to defraud pet owners of money by falsely claiming to sell canine cancer-curing drugs.
The Indictment alleges that the defendant created several companies beginning in 2012, including “Canine Care,” “ACGT,” and “CAGT,” through which he purported to develop drugs intended to treat cancer in dogs. Using various websites for these companies, the defendant marketed these “cancer-curing” medications to desperate pet owners, using the drug names “Tumexal” and “Naturasone.” The websites made numerous allegedly false and fraudulent claims regarding the safety and efficacy of these supposed drugs, including that “Tumexal is effective against a wide variety of cancers,” and, “[i]n fact, Tumexal will almost always restore a cancer-stricken dog’s appetite, spirit and energy!” As alleged, these drugs were nothing more than a collection of bulk ingredients from various sources, which the defendant blended together himself at a facility on Arcola Road in Collegeville.
Further, through email and telephone conversations, Nyce allegedly induced the owners of terminally ill dogs to pay him hundreds or thousands of dollars for these drugs by touting the effectiveness of his products in treating a host of canine cancers. He also told prospective customers that their pets could become part of clinical trials, but in order to do so, they had to pay him large sums of money. The defendant’s marketing, sale, and shipment of these drugs in interstate commerce is alleged to have violated the Food and Drug Administration’s Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because the drugs were not approved by the FDA. The defendant even falsely claimed in promotional materials that his company’s research was “funded in part by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”
“The defendant’s alleged conduct here is shameful,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “As any dog owner will tell you – myself included – pets quickly become part of the family. And when they become sick, caring owners look for hope, often doing everything they can to keep their beloved pets alive and well. The defendant is charged with taking advantage of that nurturing instinct in the worst way possible by defrauding pet owners and giving them false hope that they might be able to save their dying pet. That is both cruel and illegal, and now the defendant will face the consequences.”
“American pet owners rely on the FDA to ensure their pets’ drugs are safe and effective,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark McCormack, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Metro Washington Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who ignore or attempt to circumvent the law.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 32 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,250,000.
The case was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher E. Parisi.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
USAO - Pennsylvania, Eastern