North Carolina Woman Pleads Guilty to Selling Unapproved Covid-19 Remedies
Department of Justice
District of New Hampshire
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
CONCORD – Diana Daffin, 69, of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in federal court to selling unapproved drugs with the intent to defraud or mislead the FDA, United States Attorney Jane E. Young announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Diana Daffin owned and operated a holistic medicine company called Savvy Holistic Health doing business as Holistic Healthy Pet. In March 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) learned that Daffin was selling unapproved drugs on her website, with the brand name HAMPL, that Daffin claimed were COVID-19 remedies and treatments. In April and August of 2020, the FDA sent Daffin warning letters explaining that various products she was selling—including the HAMPL COVID-19 drugs—were adulterated, misbranded, and unapproved drugs and that she should take immediate action to correct the violation. Daffin responded by telling the FDA that she removed the products from her website and would stop distributing them.
However, Daffin did not stop selling the products. Instead, she continued to distribute the unapproved COVID-19 drugs and took steps to defraud and mislead the FDA. For example, she continued to sell unapproved HAMPL brand drugs by moving them to a password protected website, telling one customer that this was her “way of evading the FDA.”
In February 2021, Daffin sold an undercover law enforcement officer a HAMPL product that she advertised as a drug that could cure, mitigate, treat, and prevent COVID-19 in humans. In an email leading up to the sale, Daffin told the undercover officer, “This stuff does work for covid, but fda shut it down.” Daffin later sold and shipped the undercover agent the unapproved HAMPL-brand COVID-19 drug and other unapproved drugs.
On March 5, 2021, the undercover agent in New Hampshire received HAMPL drugs sold by Daffin, including the purported COVID-19 remedy. The label stated that it provided “a stronger immunity against CV” and promised “Immunity for Humans.”
Daffin is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2, 2022.
This matter was investigated by the United States Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew T. Hunter and Georgiana L. MacDonald.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
USAO - New Hampshire
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