Federal Charges Brought for Illegal Sale of Prescription Medications

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An Orange County man was arrested last week for the illegal sale of prescription medications.

Sean Gerson, of Laguna Hills, was taken into custody on December 13, 2016, following a lengthy investigation into his illegal sales of prescription medications. Gerson allegedly used multiple websites to sell misbranded veterinary medications including antibiotics and flea treatments. The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Gerson with one felony and one misdemeanor count for misbranding and dispensing drugs without prescriptions and his bail has been set at $25,000.

Gerson’s arrest was the result of years of investigation by both federal and state agencies. Gerson was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, and the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation San Diego Field Office, California Veterinary Medical Board and California State Board of Pharmacy.

Gerson was previously convicted of similar state charges in Texas in 2014.

In California, Gerson was allegedly operating a pharmacy without a valid pharmacy license, selling drugs without prescriptions and was using the names of licensed veterinarians, without their knowledge, in order to obtain the drugs he was selling. There were also allegations that he had misrepresented himself as a veterinarian.

Information was referred to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in 2013, but they declined to file criminal charges. Gerson has faced civil lawsuits in Orange County from the Department of Pesticide Regulation and from the various companies that provided him with the products he sold.

The Division of Investigation worked closely with the Federal Drug Administration to obtain the evidence needed for the criminal charges.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office news release can be read here.

Information about the California Department of Pesticide Regulation cases can be read here.


Search Continues for Victims of Alleged Fake Doctor

Richmond man arrested for practicing medicine without a license after claiming to be an oncologist.

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A Northern California man will appear in Ventura County Court on October 26, 2015, to face felony charges of the unlawful practice of medicine and elder abuse, and a misdemeanor charge of furnishing dangerous drugs without a license.

Vincent Gammill, of El Cerrito, allegedly charged a cancer patient $2,000 and promised her a cure. He then furnished her with expired pharmaceutical medications and dirt.

Gammill, the owner of the Natural Oncology Institute in Richmond, claimed he was an oncologist, but has no license to practice medicine in California. Gammill was arrested on July 9, 2015, after a search warrant at his home and office turned up laboratory equipment, bottles labeled “corrosive” and “poison” and more than 25,000 prescription pills including morphine, Ambien, steroids and Mexican and Russian drugs.

On August 31, 2015, Gammill pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The investigation was a joint effort between the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office and the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit (PUC), a task force that consists of law enforcement officers from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Simi Valley Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation’s Health Quality Investigation Unit.

More victims are being sought. Southern California residents may contact the PUC at (805) 383-8700 or email pharm.tip@ventura.org. Northern California residents may contact Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office at (925) 313-2600.

To view the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office press release, go to:
http://www.vcsd.org/press-release.php?id=1326


Pharmacist pleads not guilty to fraud, larceny

Prescription Medication Spilling From an Open Medicine Bottle

A Tulare County Pharmacist has plead not guilty to charges of fraud, larceny and diversion of prescription drugs.

Emily Anne Clark was arrested as a result of an investigation led by the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation’s (DOI) Central Valley Field Office.  DOI was assisted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Unit Investigators-Fresno Resident Office, Kings County District Attorney’s Office and the Visalia Police Department.

The investigation found Clark had taken money and personal property from Adventist Health Hospitals while she was an employee. Clark also obtained personal information of doctors without their consent and entered several pharmacies in Tulare and Visalia counties to commit larceny. Clark unlawfully possessed for sale controlled substances. She was charged with 25 felony counts and faces a maximum of 12 years and 8 months jail time.

The Board of Pharmacy was granted a court order restricting Clark’s ability to practice as a pharmacist.

Clark’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 27, 2014.