August 10, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jeffrey H. Sloman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and David W. Bourne, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Office of Criminal Investigations, Miami Field Office, announced that after a two week trial before U.S. District Judge Alan S. Gold, a jury convicted Arnesto Segredo, 43, of Miami, of conspiring to divert the prescription drugs Serostim and Nutropin AQ, both human growth hormones, and one count of causing the diversion of these human growth hormones, in interstate commerce. Sentencing is scheduled for October 23, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Segredo caused California-based human growth hormone suppliers, all of which were unlicensed to engage in the wholesale distribution of prescription drugs in California, to regularly ship to him in Miami hundreds of boxes of Serostim, and some Nutropin AQ, from 2000 through the end of 2002. Serostim is an injectable drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of AIDS-wasting syndrome in HIV-infected patients, and Nutropin AQ is an injectable drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of growth hormone deficiency, including children with short stature.
From 2000 through 2001, Segredo operated Life Extension Institute, a Miami-based prescription drug wholesaler, which was also not licensed to engage in the distribution of prescription drugs in Florida. He later operated through Genendo Purchasing Organization, a Miami-based prescription drug wholesaler that became licensed in Florida in July 2001. A significant portion of the Serostim that Segredo distributed through these two companies originated from California-based AIDS patients who sold their Serostim supplies secured from the Medi-Cal Medicaid program.
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose A. Bonau of the Economic and Environmental Crimes Section, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Varrone, a Trial Attorney with the FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel