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Chapter closes on trial of Georgia distributor of knockoff branded products

February 5, 2009
Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - January/February 2009,

Company imported knockoffs from Belize and sold them over the Internet

As reported by MSNBC, Jared Wheat, president of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals (Norcross, GA) accepted a plea bargain in federal court for illegally selling the drugs, and will serve a 50-month sentence. The company and other individual defendants will forfeit $3 million in illicit proceeds. However, charges from other alleged actions, including racketeering, and selling diet supplements spiked with ephendrine, were dropped.

Stemming from investigations that concluded with arrests in 2006, Hi-Tech was accused of running a manufacturing facility in Belize from which it imported “generic” versions of Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Zoloft and other branded products. In interviews with MSNBC, West had contended that the products were legal because patent protections for them did not exist in Belize.