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Tulare County Man Pleads Guilty to Falsely Marketing Products as Effective in Treating Medical Conditions Including COVID-19

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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of California

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

FRESNO, Calif. — Huu Tieu, 61, of Porterville, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three counts of introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Tieu was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Golden Sunrise Pharmaceutical Inc. and Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical Inc. (collectively, “Golden Sunrise”). Golden Sunrise manufactured, marketed, and sold products that claimed to effectively treat a variety of medical conditions.

According to court documents, beginning on March 30, 2020, Tieu began selling a set of herbal mixtures he called the “Emergency D-Virus Plan of Care” as a COVID-19 treatment. The treatment consisted of a box containing various vials of Golden Sunrise drug products, including one called “Imunstem,” together with an “Emergency D-Virus Plan of Care” information sheet. Tieu mailed the products to various practitioners, public officials, and other individuals both inside and outside of California.

According to court documents, the labeling for the drugs, including the information sheet that accompanied the drugs, was false and misleading and stated that ImunStem and other Golden Sunrise products were “uniquely qualified to treat and modify the course of the virus epidemic in China and other countries.” Tieu falsely claimed the products had been the first dietary supplement in the United States to be approved as a prescription medicine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the COVID-19 virus. In fact, the drugs were not FDA approved, and no Golden Sunrise product had ever been approved by the FDA for any purpose.

This case is the product of an investigation by FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey A. Spivak and Emilia P.E. Morris are prosecuting the case.

Tieu is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe on June 12, 2024. Tieu faces a maximum statutory penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine on each of the three counts. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.


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