Utah pharmacy CEO pleads guilty to receipt of misbranded chloroquine

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SALT LAKE CITY – Accused of importing a mislabeled drug into the U.S. from China with the intent to sell in the U.S. a Utah pharmacy CEO pleads guilty to receipt of misbranded chloroquine.

According to a press release sent by U.S. Attorney John W. Huber’s office, Daniel Kevin Richards, 37, of Sandy, Utah, “admitted that, in April of 2020, he imported and received over 50 kilograms of misbranded and mislabeled chloroquine from China.”

The release states, “Richards admitted that the chloroquine was falsely mislabeled as “Boswellia Serrata Extract.” The drug was not manufactured and prepared by an establishment registered as a drug manufacturer with the Food and Drug Administration.”

The statement continues, “Additionally, the labeling on the drugs failed to bear adequate directions for use as required by federal law. At sentencing, Richards faces a maximum possible sentence of up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Richards has also agreed to pay for the destruction of the drug by the proper authorities at the conclusion of the case.”

Hydroxychloroquine. (AP Photo/John Locher)

“This office, with our partners at the FDA and FBI, pursued every meaningful investigative lead in this matter, and fully examined the facts and circumstances surrounding this federal offense,” said United States Attorney John W. Huber. “This is the just outcome of that thorough investigation, and it will conclude our review.”

“The FDA continues to proactively identify and neutralize threats to consumers, particularly those related to COVID-19. Proffering the sale of misbranded prescription drugs of unknown origin puts consumers’ health at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles L. Grinstead, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Kansas City Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who intend to exploit consumers’ fears during the pandemic with potentially dangerous drugs.”

The release states, “U.S. Attorneys in the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. Special Agents of the Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, the FBI, and investigators from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation.”

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