HARRISBURG, PA (WPMT) A Harrisburg businesswoman is charged in federal court with selling misbranded dietary supplements and money laundering. Cheryl Floyd Brown, 52, is owner and operator of an internet based business known as Floyd Nutrition LLC based at her home and warehouse facilities in the Harrisburg area.
The criminal Information also charges Floyd with money laundering of the proceeds of the sales of the misbranded products and the government is seeking forfeitures of seven properties in Harrisburg valued at $2,000,000, a truck, and nine bank accounts. Brown, in a plea deal, has agreed to forfeit the properties and funds pending approval by a federal judge.
If convicted she faces a maximum of three years in prison, a $10,000 fine and one year of supervised release. The maximum penalty for conducting financial transactions with criminally-derived property in excess of $10,000 is 10 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release.
Charging documents say the items offered for sale between 2010 and 2014 were allegedly purported all-natural dietary supplements sold as weight loss products. They allegedly contain the drugs sibutramine and phenolphphthalein which are not listed as ingredients in the product labels.
According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sibutramine was the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Meridia, a prescription weight loss drug removed from the market in 2010 following studies that showed increased heart attack and stroke in the studied population.
Phenolphphthalein was an over-the-county drug until 1999 when FDA reclassified it as not generally safe because it posed a carcinogenic risk.
The FDA has detained shipments of the products coming from China intended for Floyd’s business. In July 2014, search warrants executed at locations used by Floyd’s business resulted in seizure of a large quantity of the products. The products were sold over the internet under the names such as Slim Trim U, ZXT Slim Bee Pollen, Magic Slim, ZXT Bee Pollen, ZXT Gold Infinity, Lean Body Extreme, Bnew Beauty and Body and Natural Body Solutions.
Health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program: Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm – download the form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.