Final Blackstone Labs defendant sentenced
James Boccuzzi, the former director of sales for Boca Raton-based Blackstone Labs, was convicted in December 2021 for conspiring to defraud the FDA and distribute anabolic steroids.
US District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas of the Southern District of Florida sentenced Boccuzzi to over 4 years in prison and ordered Boccuzzi to pay a fine of $20,000.
The Blackstone bunch
Phillip (PJ) Braun, Aaron Singerman, Robert DiMaggio, Anthony Ventrella, David Winsauer, James Boccuzzi, Blackstone Labs, LLC, and Ventech Labs, LLC were charged in a 14-count indictment that was unsealed on March 13, 2019.
Earlier this year Braun and Singerman were ordered to 54 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $2.9 million and $3 million, respectively. The court also previously ordered $38,655 in restitution for medical expenses related to certain victims.
Evidence at trial established that Boccuzzi and his co-conspirators continued to sell the illegal controlled substances despite knowing the drugs were illegal and its impact.
According to evidence, Boccuzzi and his co-conspirators allegedly quickly sold off other Blackstone products containing certain stimulants after they received an FDA warning letter notifying them that the products were unlawful to sell as dietary supplements. Further, the evidence allegedly showed that the conspirators concealed the sales of other products containing research chemicals despite knowing that the products could not legally be sold as dietary supplements. During the conspiracy, Boccuzzi also created a fraudulent “Certificate of Free Sale,” representing himself to be an employee of the FDA, in order to ship Blackstone Labs products internationally.
“Dietary supplement distributors and manufacturers cannot ignore the law,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will work with law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute individuals and companies who disregard public safety to make a profit.”
“Drug products that are disguised as supplements can pose a serious risk to the health of US consumers,” said Special Agent in Charge Justin C. Fielder, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI) Miami Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who jeopardize public health.”
In total, eight individuals and three companies were convicted of felonies in connection with the activities of Blackstone Labs and ordered to forfeit a total of nearly $8 million. Boccuzzi is the final defendant to be sentenced in this case.