The president and CEO of Dallas-based dietary supplement company USPlabs pleaded guilty in federal court to a role in a scheme to fraudulently sell workout supplements to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. President Jonathan Doyle and CEO Jacobo Geissler pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce.
The two were joined by three other individuals and two companies that took part in developing, manufacturing, or marketing workout and weight loss supplements known as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro. OxyElite Pro was recalled in 2013 after a Food and Drug Administration investigation to see whether it caused liver injuries. Doyle and Geissler said they imported the falsely labeled materials to skirt law enforcement and regulatory restrictions.
The defendants were accused of a conspiracy to import supplement ingredients from China under false certificates of analysis and false labeling, and then lied about the source of the ingredients. The indictment says the defendants told retailers that their supplements contained natural extracts when they were in fact made from a Chinese synthetic stimulant. The indictment also alleges that USPlabs sold products without determining whether they were safe.
Doyle and Geissler face up to five years’ imprisonment, and the defendants and their companies agreed to pay $60 million worth of fines and forfeitures.
“Dietary supplement makers may not disregard the law and trick consumers about what is in their products,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division via release. “Consumers are entitled to trust that the products they consume are safe. We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who enable the sale of mislabeled and potentially unsafe dietary supplements.”
“Consumers deserve to know exactly what’s in their dietary supplements,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox via release. “We cannot stand by as supplement companies deceive customers – especially when they use untested, suspect ingredients in their products.”
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