Dietary supplement makers were charged in fraud case this week by the US Department of Justice. The company responsible for making popular workout and dietary supplements such as Jack3d and OxyElite has been charged with using synthetic stimulants in their products while advertising that the respective products only contained plant extracts.
- Dietary supplement manufacturers were charged with fraud after using synthetic stimulants in their products despite claiming that they only used plant extracts.
- Several cases of liver disease were linked to the company’s supplements back in 2013.
- The indictment is part of a larger, year-long investigation that has resulted in more than 100 civil and criminal cases against supplement makers and producers.
The synthetic stimulants that the company used in their supposedly plant-based products had been produced in China and, according to a statement made by representatives of the Justice Department in a recent press release, they were found to be dangerous to the consumers’ health.
The indictment cited a number of cases from late 2013 in which liver disease and injury was linked to the consumption of OxyElite Pro Advanced Formula. In many of the cases that were cited patients required liver transplants because of the extensive damage that the dietary supplement had done to their bodies.
USPlabs, the company behind the supplements was informed of the health risks associated with their product and pledged to discontinue the product and take it off the market. The indictment however states that the company continued to sell what was left of its inventory as hastily as possible.
Six of the company’s executives were charged for the crimes and four of the six defendants have already been taken into custody. Two more defendants are expected to surrender themselves into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service according to and Food and Drug Administration representative.
In light of the arrests agents of both the Food and Drug Administration and the Internal Revenue Service seized several assets that the defendants had, including investment accounts, sports and luxury cars and real estate. The indictment explains that the revenues that USPlabs took in from the sale of supplements in 2013 amounted to $400 million.
The company executives are also accused of having continued to sell the supplements without ensuring that they are safe for consumption despite the warning they had received about the dangerous nature of these products.
Both the indictments and the arrests that followed are the products of a year-long investigation performed by several government agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The investigation has also resulted in many additional civil and criminal cases against a total of more than 100 manufacturers and distributers of dietary and nutritional supplements.
While these dietary supplements have become a $35 billion industry in the United States, specialists have long warned the general public that many such products are not subjected to enough regulation as they are not considered to be either a food or a drug.
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