Two Great Neck-based pharmaceutical executives have been arrested on federal charges of allegedly selling $17 million worth of counterfeit prescription and mislabeled drugs meant to treat cancer and other diseases, authorities said.
Medical Device King President William Scully, 45, of Commack, and his 40-year-old vice president, Shahrad Rodi Lameh, of Manhasset, pleaded not guilty Wednesday at Central Islip federal court to charges in a 73-count indictment, including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, distribution of misbranded and counterfeit prescription drugs, trafficking in counterfeit goods and smuggling.
“Instead of seeing an opportunity to alleviate suffering and cure disease, Scully and Lameh saw a chance to make money off the backs of those already fighting for their lives, selling counterfeit cancer medication,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Scully and Lameh illegally imported counterfeit drugs and medications unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration and resold them in the country over the last 3 ½ years.
Authorities said the duo ignored warnings from an FDA investigator as well as cease and desist letters from the agency while they allegedly advertised the drugs online as safe and approved for sale in the country.
Some of the drugs lacked the required phrase “Rx only” on the label while others had labels written in languages other than English, according to court documents. The drugs that lack FDA approval that they allegedly sold include Aclasta, Mabthera and Nova.
They also allegedly sold Mirena brand intrauterine birth control implant devices (IUDs) manufactured in Finland that were not approved by the FDA, prosecutors said.
Authorities allegedly found records that the suspects mailed the drugs clinics in Louisiana, Iowa, Texas, Nevada, New Jersey and New York. They were also found to have done business with clinics in Riverhead and Patchogue, the records show.
They face up to 20 years in federal prison, plus restitution and a $250,000 fine. Attorneys for the duo told reporters outside the courthouse that their clients are innocent.