The $8.1 million in total fines for Bodybuilding.com and the DeLuca brothers should serve as a reminder for retailers as well as manufacturers of their responsibility to ensure dietary supplements really are dietary supplements, says a US Attorney.
Sentencing in steroid spiking case against Bodybuilding.com, LLC, and Jeremy and Ryan DeLuca, both of Eagle, Idaho, were confirmed last week: Bodybuilding.com has agreed to pay a $7m fine and Jeremy and Ryan DeLuca will pay $600,000 and $500,000, respectively.
US Attorney Wendy Olson said: “The $8.1 million fines imposed in this case send a clear message that retailers, as well as manufacturers, of products sold as dietary supplements have a clear responsibility under the law to ensure that the products they are selling are indeed dietary supplements, and not synthetic steroids or steroid clones masquerading as dietary supplements.
“The officers of those retailers also now know that they will be held responsible and have an obligation to know what the products they sell contain.”
The decisions come after plea agreements in early June that stated that between March 2006 and September 2009, Bodybuilding.com sold five products misbranded as dietary supplements, when they were in fact drugs.
They were: I Force Methadrol, Nutra Costal D-Stianozol, I Force Dymethazine, Rage RV5, and GeneticEdge Technologies (GET) SUS500.
The products were drugs because they contained synthetic anabolic steroids or synthetic chemical clones of anabolic steroids that were not dietary supplements and because they were labeled and promoted as products intended to affect the structure and function of the human body by building muscle mass.
The $7 million fine was the maximum possible fine allowed under federal sentencing law. The company was also ordered by Chief US.District Judge Lynn Winmill in United States District Court in Boise to serve four years’ probation and to implement a product testing procedure.
“[The] sentencing should serve as a reminder and deterrent to those involved in the distribution of products promoted as ‘dietary supplements’ that the FDA-Office of Criminal Investigations will continue working with U.S. Attorneys' Offices to protect consumers, vigorously pursuing and holding accountable those who sell unsafe and illegal products to the unsuspecting public,” said Lisa Malinowski, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FDA-Office of Criminal Investigations, Los Angeles Field Office.