Today I heard the news that the "AffPower" drug network is being shut down, starting with 18 arrests in Texas, Florida, Colorado, New York, and Oregon.
Congratulations, Corbin A. Weiss, Special Assistant US Attorney with the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the DOJ! What a great indictment!
Here's a link to the full Indictment (caution: 124 pages!)
I have to say, I LOVE to hear about scared bad guys, and THIS one has people scared who have previously considered themselves bulletproof. Why? Because the AFFILIATES are also being arrested.
The 18 are:
1 pharmacy operator
1 credit card processor
8 website affiliates
Mark Anthony Heredia, Manager and administrator in the Affpower enterprise in San Jose, Costa Rica;
William Polk Harrington and Todd Wurtzel, AKA "Sonny Gallo", recruited doctors and pharmacies to participate in the Affpower enterprise and managed the doctors they recruited;
Claude Covino, operated Saveon RX Pharmacy in Florida, part of the Affpower enterprise, and recruited other pharmacies to participate;
Dolores Lovin and Mary Aronson, owned, operated, and were licensed pharmacists working in St. Vrain Pharmacy in Colorado;
Subramanya K. Prasad, MD, Chandresh B. Shah, MD, and Gerald C. Morris, MD, were licensed medical doctors who issued prescriptions for controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs through and on behalf of the Affpower enterprise;
Philip James Bidwell, 50, of Frisco, TX, is accused of operating multiple affiliated websites and recruiting other affiliates to the enterprise and managing them. He has been released on $1 million bail.
Henriko Chung is charged with the same activities as Bidwell.
David Eldon Fisher, Richard Edward Koch, Jeffrey A. Light, (Name Withdrawn By Request),
Peter P. Bragansa, and Bessie K. Ricoarango were affpower affiliates who operated multiple affiliate websites
Nathan Jacobson was the owner and manager of RX Payments, Ltd, a credit card processing agency in Tel Aviv, Israel.
How hard are they hitting the Website Affiliates?
Jeffrey A. Light, 44, of Heath, TX, has been released on $1 million bail.
(Name withdrawn by request), 46, of Dallas, has been released on $500,000 bail.
Chandresh Shah faces additional charges in Georgia, Subramanya Prasad faces additional charges in Kentucky and Ohio, and Gerald Morris faces additional charges in Massachusetts, the states where each was licensed to practice medicine.
Dolores Lovin and Mary Aronson face additional charges in Colorado, and Claude Covino faces additional charges in Florida, the states where they were licensed in pharmaceutical practice.
ALL of the defendants face racketeering charges and much more in this 313 count indictment.
But does this really scare the bad guys? ABSOLUTELY! Let's drop in and visit a few websites where they bad guys talk about their pill-spamming and see what they are saying:
We'll start at RxAffiliateForum.com.
ChesterCoperPot, an RXAffiliateForum member since 2003 whose made more than 400 posts to this forum, starts things off by quoting in bold text "AND EIGHT AFFILIATE WEBSITE OPERATORS".
Pillz, a "senior member" with over 200 posts, adds:
"BTW, the gov't is going for RICO on this."
RxRob, another "senior member" with over 1400 posts, says:
"OMFG, they charged Bess (WICKED on this forum). She was just an Affiliate!"
Rumple, trying to stem the panic, posts:
"Settle down boys and girls......
Trying to win a case against an affiliate would be very hard to do, the reason you never hear about affiliates being charged is because it would be damn hard to prove without a doubt in a court that an affiliate new that Affpower was breaking the laws that they were breaking...
You didnt touch any of the money being moved into Dave's accounts and you didnt handle any of the drugs being shipped .........so stop worring
It would be a waste of time and effort for the government to even try to get a case against an affiliate that it could win, you would have to have direct business dealings with Dave for them to have something on you..."
And that is EXACTLY what needs to happen if we are going to stop pill-spam. If the government is serious about wanting to stop this, they need to convince the jury and the sentencing judge that it doesn't matter if they "touched the money" or if they didn't "handle the drugs". What matters is that their behavior makes this entire scheme possible, and puts American lives in danger for their own greed.
Some of the websites involved include:
Let's peek in on a couple more forums and see how they affiliates are taking the news so far:
On ePharmacyWatch everybody wants to know WHICH WEBSITES are involved! They are also scurrying to see if the sites they are selling for do business in Cyprus.
Sadly, several of the posts make it clear that some of these poor suckers think they are "following the rules" and doing pill-spam for prescription drugs in a "legal" way! DOH!
(One Hundred Seventy Two users had logged in to this forum in the previous 30 minutes when I was reading it!)
(182 registered users in the past 30 minutes!!!)
This thread is also mostly about posters wondering if what they are doing is really illegal or not! Amazing!
Shroomery.com laughs at them all and points out that Magic Mushrooms don't use prescriptions. (a photo of a cow says "This is my pharmacist!")