June 15, 2017: Gloucester Woman Charged with Conspiracy to Traffic Steroids and Launder Money
BOSTON – A Gloucester woman was charged today in federal court for her role in a conspiracy to traffic steroids and launder money.
Melissa Sclafani, 29, was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute counterfeit steroids and one count of conspiracy to launder money. On April 12, 2017, Sclafani and five others were charged by criminal complaint.
According to the charging documents, from approximately February 2016 until April 12, 2017, Sclafani conspired with others to manufacture steroid products, market them as “Onyx” steroids, and sell them to customers across the United States using email and social media platforms. Customers paid for the steroids via money remitters, such as Western Union and MoneyGram, and members of the conspiracy used false identifications and multiple remitter locations to pick up the steroid proceeds.
It is alleged that the conspirators purchased the raw materials to manufacture the steroids as well as Onyx labeling and packaging from overseas suppliers, either by using money remitters or by shipping U.S. currency overseas. Onyx is a legitimate pharmaceutical company owned by Amgen Inc. that does not manufacture steroids. The steroids were actually manufactured in the residential home(s) of one or more members of the conspiracy. It is further alleged that Sclafani obtained materials and supplies to manufacture the counterfeit steroids and served as the corporate secretary of Wicked Tan LLC, a tanning business in Beverly, Mass., that was owned by two co-conspirators. Sclafani assisted members of the conspiracy in laundering proceeds from the sale of counterfeit steroids through the business.
The conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gain or loss of the conspiracy, and the charge of money laundering conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $500,000 or twice the gain or loss of the conspiracy. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal investigation, New York Field Office, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Harman Burkart and David J. D’Addio of Weinreb’s Cybercrime Unit are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.