A federal court sentenced two former dietary supplement company executives, including one from University Park, to prison and ordered two companies to pay a combined $10.7 million in criminal forfeiture for their roles in fraudulently selling popular workout supplements, the Justice Department announced Oct. 15.
U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay sentenced former USPlabs CEO Jacobo Geissler, 44, of University Park, to 60 months’ imprisonment Oct. 13. Judge Lindsay sentenced former USPLabs president Jonathan Doyle, 41, of Dallas, to 24 months’ imprisonment Oct. 15. In addition, the court ordered each defendant to pay a criminal fine of $250,000. The court previously sentenced USPlabs to pay $4.7 million in criminal forfeiture, and sentenced another company, SK Laboratories Inc., to forfeit $6 million in connection with the case. All of the defendants were charged in a 2015 indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Texas.
“Consumers rely on dietary supplement manufacturers to accurately represent the ingredients in their products and ensure that they are safe to consume,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We will tirelessly investigate and prosecute individuals and companies that place profits before the safety of consumers.”
“Dietary supplement companies cannot be allowed to deceive their consumers and hide the fact that they are including untested ingredients in their products,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox. “We are committed to holding people who harm consumers accountable for their unconscionable behavior.”
The Dallas Morning News reported in 2019 that about 75% of Americans use dietary supplements and, as a result, the safety of the products remains a top concern of federal regulators and health officials, and USP Labs was one of the government’s top targets.
“The defendants in this case thought they could profit off the boom in dietary supplements, while blatantly concealing the true nature of the products they were peddling,” said Dallas Field Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kevin Caramucci. “IRS-CI is proud to stand with our federal partners in investigating financial crimes that bilk millions of dollars from our honest taxpayers, especially when products such as those distributed by Mr. Geissler and Mr. Doyle caused so much harm.”
The U.S. Department of Justice alleges the defendants each played roles in developing, manufacturing, or marketing the popular workout and weight loss supplements known as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro, which were distributed by USPlabs.
In pleading guilty last year to conspiracy to introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce, Doyle and Geissler admitted that they imported substances with false and misleading labeling to avoid law enforcement and regulatory agency attention.
SK Laboratories pleaded guilty to introduction of misbranded food into interstate commerce, and USPlabs pleaded guilty to conspiracy to introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce.
The misbranding charges relate in part to OxyElite Pro, which was recalled in 2013 in the wake of an investigation by the Food and Drug Administration into whether the supplement caused liver injuries in consumers, the DOJ says. The indictment alleged that the defendants sold some of their products without determining whether they would be safe to use.