Dunedin Woman Charged with Scheme to Distribute Unapproved New Drugs and Money Laundering
Department of Justice
Middle District of Florida
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 12, 2022
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Marina Sievert (57, Dunedin) with mail fraud, introduction into interstate commerce of an unapproved new drug, and monetary transactions in criminally derived property. If convicted, Sievert faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each mail fraud count (2 counts), three years in federal prison for each count of introduction into interstate commerce of an unapproved new drug (2 counts), and 10 years in federal prison for each money laundering count (2 counts). The indictment also notifies Sievert that the United States is seeking an order of forfeiture in the amount of at least $1.5 million, the proceeds of the charged criminal conduct.
According to the indictment, beginning in July 2019, and continuing through April 2022, Sievert owned and operated Beauty Forever Florida Inc. (“BFF”), a Florida corporation that she used to order, purchase, import, receive, and distribute unapproved and misbranded drugs and medical devices. For instance, Sievert distributed Innotox, Medytox, and Meditoxin, which contained botulinum toxin type A, a highly potent toxin that could cause the disease botulism. Sievert acquired these products from a Korean pharmaceutical company that did not have the required approvals of the Food and Drug Administration for distribution in the United States. Sievert made fraudulent representations on her BFF website to her customers, such as false and misleading claims that BFF’s products were “FDA approved,” had “cleared customs,” and had “guaranteed authenticity.” Sievert collected online orders from the BFF website and used the United States Postal Service and private and commercial interstate carriers to acquire the unapproved new drugs from foreign pharmaceutical retailers. She then distributed the unapproved new drugs across the United States via the mail. Sievert used the proceeds of her illegal scheme, in part, to make two monetary transactions, each in amounts greater than $10,000, for the purchase of a vehicle and for her own personal enrichment.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the United States Food and Drug Administration — Office of Criminal Investigations and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Greg Pizzo.
USAO - Florida, Middle