A Thai woman who sold unapproved medicines in the U.S. pleaded guilty today to wire fraud, money laundering and introducing misbranded drugs to interstate commerce.
Duangthip Chutivaraporn, 33, was arrested in March following an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration, FBI, IRS and Department of Homeland Security. She presented herself to undercover agents as the head of a company that ran the website www.eDrugnet.com and at least 30 affiliated websites that sold brand name or generic versions of common prescription medications like Abilify, Viagra, Tamiflu and Lipitor, usually without requiring a doctor's prescription.
Her firm would then ship the drugs in boxes labeled as samples, gifts or even, in one instance, crayons.
Undercover agents based in Western Pennsylvania bought drugs from her business online. They met her in Bangkok in March 2011, asking how they could get larger amounts of the drugs.
A year later they lured her to New Orleans for a meeting on how to establish a long-term business relationship. She admitted to deceptive labeling and shipping practices, and was arrested.
Federal prosecutors also are trying to seize millions of dollars in assets from the business. Ms. Chutivaraporn is set to be sentenced Feb. 22.
Rich Lord: email@example.com or 412-263-1542.