Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Drugs for Equine Illness Allegedly Sold to Trainers and Veterinarians at New York Racetracks
An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Central Islip charging Gregory Settino with theft of medical products and making a false statement to a federal agent. Settino was arrested today and arraigned this afternoon via teleconference before United States Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay. Settino was released on a $250,000 bond.
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Jeffrey Ebersole, Special Agent-in-Charge, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office (FDA-OCI), announced the arrest and charges.
“As alleged, Settino abused his supervisory position at a pharmaceuticals company to steal large quantities of equine drugs in order to enrich himself and without regard for how his sale of the medical products could potentially endanger the health of horses,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme. “The defendant then allegedly compounded his criminal conduct by lying to an FDA Special Agent to minimize the scope of his thefts. Thanks to the combined efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FDA, this illicit pipeline of stolen drugs to vets and horse trainers has been shut down.”
“The safety and effectiveness of veterinary drugs play a key role in maintaining the health of animals. When these drugs leave the legitimate supply chain, they can lose their effectiveness or become unsafe,” stated FDA-OCI Special Agent-in-Charge Ebersole. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who endanger the health of animals.”
As set forth in court filings, Settino was the production supervisor of manufacturing at Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Shirley, New York. In January 2019, Luitpold was renamed American Regent. One of the products manufactured at Luitpold and American Regent was Adequan, an injectable equine drug administered to horses with degenerative joint disease and sold throughout the United States. Between 2012 and January 2020, Settino allegedly stole thousands of bottles of Adequan from Luitpold and American Regent valued at over $1 million, and sold those drugs to horse trainers and veterinarians at New York racetracks, including Belmont Park, for more than $600,000. Settino’s conduct endangered the health of horses because the drugs were not maintained, stored or transported in accordance with proper procedures for ensuring the safety, effectiveness and efficacy of the drugs. At times, Settino transported the drugs in shoeboxes stored in his car. At all times, the drugs were handled in violation of the FDA regulated supply chain.
On January 23, 2020, Settino was interviewed by an FDA Special Agent and allegedly falsely stated that he had stolen fewer than 100 bottles of Adequan from Luitpold and American Regent.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Settino faces up to 25 years in prison.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Charles P. Kelly is in charge of the prosecution.
Bethpage, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 20-CR-340 (JS)
USAO - New York, Eastern
John Marzulli United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323