CHICAGO — The owner of a suburban Chicago prescription drug wholesale distribution company purchased more than $57 million worth of diverted, unregulated prescription drugs and re-sold them to unsuspecting pharmacies and other wholesalers, according to a federal indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
GURUCHARAN DUA used his Plainfield, Ill.-based distribution company to knowingly obtain wholesale amounts of the diverted prescription drugs at discounted prices from unlicensed suppliers, the indictment states. Upon receipt of the diverted drugs, Dua directed his employees to clean the bottles to fraudulently make the drugs appear to be from a regulated prescription drug distribution chain, the indictment states. Dua then knowingly sold the diverted prescription drugs to unsuspecting pharmacies and other wholesalers, falsely representing to them that his company had acquired the prescription drugs from a licensed source in a regulated supply chain, the indictment states.
The charges allege that from 2011 to 2017, Dua purchased approximately $57.2 million worth of diverted prescription drugs that he later re-sold to the pharmacies and wholesalers. Some of the pharmacies were located in Chicago, Joliet, Ill., and Springfield, Mass., the indictment states.
The indictment charges Dua, 50, of Naperville, Ill., with six counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and three counts of money laundering. Arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 31, 2021, at 11:00 a.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey I. Cummings.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Lynda M. Burdelik, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations. The Office of the Chief Counsel at the FDA provided valuable assistance. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher V. Parente.
“Patients deserve to have confidence that they are receiving the legitimately prescribed medication and not an unregulated, diverted drug,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Individuals who take advantage of their positions and seek to profit from diverted prescription drugs will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Prescription drugs that are not in the legitimate supply chain can present a serious health risk to those who buy and use these diverted drugs,” said FDA SAC Burdelik. “FDA will continue to protect consumers by investigating and bringing to justice those who attempt to traffic in diverted prescription drugs.”
The public is reminded that charges are not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each count of mail fraud and wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, while each money laundering count is punishable by up to ten years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.