November 28, 2021

Blackstone Labs Conspired to Sell Unlawful Dietary Supplements

Blackstone Labs and two of its executives pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell illegal anabolic steroid and unlawful dietary supplements, according to the U.S. Justice Department. According to court documents, on November 17, 2021, the executives, Phillip Braun and Aaron Singerman, pleaded guilty to distributing controlled substances and to selling unapproved new violation of FDA statutes through their company, which was located in Boca Raton, Florida.

Blackstone Labs Conspired to Sell Unlawful Dietary Supplements

The defendants admitted that, from 2012 through 2017, they conspired to sell products that were unapproved new drugs and/or illegal controlled substances, while they falsely characterized their products as safe and legal dietary supplements under the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act. The products were also falsely represented as made in “FDA approved” registered facilities that followed all regulations, when in fact they were not.

The defendants also admitted to controlling a supplement manufacturer that fraudulently imported raw ingredients for their products from China. Some of the products included synthetic stimulants DMAA and DMBA, and the “nootropic” chemical picamilon, which is a prescription drug in Russia that is not approved for use in the United States. It crosses the blood brain barrier and accumulates in the brain. Injury complaints from consumers were allegedly ignored. The company did not notify the FDA about complaints, according to the press release, even when required by law.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division said in a statement, “Dietary supplements are regulated to protect the health of American consumers. The Department of Justice will prosecute individuals and corporations who sell dangerous products while misrepresenting that they are safe and legal dietary supplements.”

And Acting Director Catherine A. Hermsen of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations added, “Consumers who use dietary supplements expect those products to be safe. When they contain drugs that are not FDA-approved, the health of the public is put at risk. We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who place consumers’ health in jeopardy.”

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