The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Cheryl Floyd, 52, Harrisburg, owner of Floyd Nutrition LLC, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison by United States District Court Judge Sylvia H. Rambo today in Harrisburg for introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce and money laundering. Judge Rambo also ordered Floyd to pay $10,000 in fines and $7,530 in restitution.
According to summaries presented to the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy H. Fawcett in connection with the guilty plea and the sentencing hearing, Floyd, also known as Cheryl Floyd Brown, was the owner and operator of an internet-based business known as Floyd Nutrition LLC, based at her Harrisburg residence and with warehouse facilities in the Harrisburg area.
The items offered for sale between 2010 and 2014 were purported all-natural dietary supplements sold as weight loss products. They contained the drugs sibutramine and phenolphthalein 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 instances of heart attack and stroke in the studied population. Phenolphthalein was an over-the-county drug until 1999 when FDA reclassified it as not generally safe because it posed a carcinogenic risk.
As a result of the health risks, the FDA 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 by Floyd under 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.
“Manufacturing and selling products marketed as ‘all-natural’ dietary supplements put U.S. consumers at risk of serious injury or death when they actually contain dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients,” said George M. Karavetsos, Director, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations. “We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to protect consumers from public health risks and fraud.”
Akeia Conner, Internal Revenue Service, Special Agent in Charge, said “I would first like to commend the United States Attorney’s office and the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations for their fine work on this investigation. Today’s sentence along with the seizure of over $1,000,000 in assets sends a clear message to those considering similar conduct. The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation stands committed to providing the financial expertise in these investigations and uncovering the flow of money which is the lifeblood of any drug enterprise.”
Floyd pled guilty in May 2015 pursuant to a plea agreement that included an agreement to forfeit five properties in Harrisburg owned by the defendant, a 2014 Chevy truck, and nine bank accounts. Three of the properties forfeited thus far have netted $1,016,943. Floyd is to surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on November 16, 2015.
This case was investigated by the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and the Dauphin County Drug Task Force and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy H. Fawcett.
For more information, visit www.justice.gov.