Korean National Sentenced to Nearly 4 Years in Federal Prison for Smuggling Erectile Dysfunction Drugs Sold as Herbal Products | USAO-CDCA

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SANTA ANA, California – A Fullerton man was sentenced today to 46 months in federal prison for illegally importing bulk amounts of erectile dysfunction drugs that he marketed as herbal male enhancement products under of a program that brought him millions of dollars.

Nam Hyun Lee, 62, alias “Daniel Lee”, a South Korean national residing illegally in the United States, was sentenced this morning by US District Judge James V. Selna.

Lee pleaded guilty in September to one count of smuggling mislabeled drugs, namely sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra. Lee specifically admitted that by the end of 2016, he had imported 21.4 kilograms of the drug into the United States from China. In his plea deal, Lee admitted to smuggling sildenafil and tadalafil, the active ingredient in Cialis, which were illegally brought into the United States under descriptions such as “acrylic paint” and “glass bottles”. .

Lee used sildenafil and tadalafil to make pills that he sold to distributors, who then sold the products to liquor, gasoline and convenience stores across the United States, documents show judicial. Even though its products contained drugs that required a prescription, Lee’s product labels either indicated that no prescription was needed or did not indicate that a prescription was needed, meaning the products were mislabeled.

Over the course of about 2.5 years – until his businesses were shut down by federal authorities in October 2018 – Lee has sold at least $ 3.5 million worth of pills under many names, including “Rhino.” and variations of this name.

Lee “organized the importation of bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients into the United States from China under false pretenses,” prosecutors wrote in a memorandum on the sentence. “He then used this bulk powder to sell counterfeit prescription drugs across the United States, totaling millions in sales. At least one of the consumers of [Lee’s] drug, SS Victim, suffered a serious illness after taking [Lee’s] counterfeit pills.

Lee has been in federal custody since his arrest in the case on October 31, 2018.

Lee agreed to relinquish his $ 1.2 million residence in Fullerton, nearly $ 458,000 seized from eight bank accounts, $ 346,324 in US currency and a 2018 Cadillac Escalade.

The investigation in this case was led by the Bureau of Criminal Investigations of the United States Food and Drug Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Los Angeles Police Department, Customs and State Border Protection. -United and the FBI.

This case was continued by Assistant United States Attorney Jake Nare of the Santa Ana branch. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katie Schonbachler and Victor A. Rodgers of the Assets Forfeiture Section addressed the forfeiture aspect of the case.

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