Writing the final chapter in a strange criminal saga, a federal judge has sentenced the president of a Georgia company that manufactures popular lines of herbal dietary supplements to 50 months in prison for illegally selling knockoff prescription drugs over the Internet.
U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp also fined Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals CEO Jared Wheat $50,000 and ordered him, the company and other individual defendants to forfeit $3 million in proceeds from the scheme.
Also sentenced Friday was co-defendant Sergio Oliveira, a Hi-Tech sales associate. He was given 20 months in prison and fined $20,000.
The judge previously sentenced Hi-Tech officials Stephen D. Smith and Tomasz Holda to serve 27 months and 16 1/2 months, respectively. Holda’s sentence will be served consecutively with time he is now serving for a federal firearms offense.
In a plea bargain, the defendants admitted to operating a manufacturing facility in Belize that made generic versions of such pharmaceuticals as Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Vioxx, Zoloft, Viagra and Cialis and selling them over the Internet without requiring prescriptions.