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Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
07/16/2014

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Houston man sentenced in Houston to more than 3 years in federal prison for trafficking counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs into the US

HOUSTON — A Chicago man, who previously pleaded guilty to trafficking in counterfeit goods and introducing counterfeit drugs into interstate commerce, was sentenced Thursday to serve 41 months in federal prison.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Brian Moskowitz, of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston.

This investigation was conducted by the following agencies: HSI, the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigations, the Department of State's Diplomatic Security Service, and police departments in Houston and Chicago.

"This conviction and prison sentence are the culmination of a multi-agency effort to prevent counterfeit pharmaceuticals from being smuggled and distributed into the United States," said Moskowitz. "Intellectual property-related crimes such as this remind us of the potential public-safety hazards posed by IP thieves who care more about profits than people."

Fayez Al-Jabri, 45, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Atlas. In addition to his prison term, Al-Jabri will serve three years of supervised release and must pay $15,066.92 in restitution. On March 21, Al-Jabri pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, to introduce misbranded prescription drugs into interstate commerce, and to import such goods contrary to U.S. law; he also pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods; and one count of introducing counterfeit drugs into interstate commerce in violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Al-Jabri was indicted Aug. 22, 2012, along with one other individual, Jamal Khattab, 49, of Katy, Texas, for their respective roles in the conspiracy. Khattab pleaded guilty to the same charges Dec. 3, 2013; his sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 14.

According to court documents, Al-Jabri conspired to traffic in more than 26,000 counterfeit Viagra tablets over the course of the conspiracy, including shipping thousands of counterfeit Viagra tablets from Chicago to an undercover HSI special agent in Houston from July 2011 through October 2012. HSI submitted all the tablets seized during the investigation for analysis to both the FDA and to Pfizer, Viagra's manufacturer. Both the FDA and Pfizer identified the tablets as counterfeit and misbranded Viagra.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kebharu Smith and Jennifer Lowery, Southern District of Texas, and Assistant Deputy Chief for Litigation John H. Zacharia of the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/23/2014