Iowa Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Misbranded Vitamin B12 Injectables

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An Iowa man pleaded guilty today to a felony charge related to the sale of misbranded vitamin B12 injectable drugs, the Department of Justice announced.

Brady Tomlinson, 46, of Des Moines, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa to one count of introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead. According to court documents, Tomlinson sold injectable vitamin B12 solutions online beginning in May 2015. Tomlinson marketed the injections as weight loss drugs. According to court documents, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informed Tomlinson during a December 2016 inspection that dispensing the drugs without valid prescriptions violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Tomlinson closed his business for a week following the inspection, but then created a new website and continued selling the same kinds of misbranded B12 injections from December 2016 until April 2019.

“Dispensing drugs such as these without a prescription or the involvement of a medical professional endangers consumers and violates the law,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department will continue to work hand-in-hand with the FDA to investigate and prosecute the illegal dispensing of prescription drugs.”

“Selling prescription drugs online – with no medical supervision – can cause serious harm and put consumers’ health at risk,” said Special Agent in Charge Charles L. Grinstead of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Kansas City Field Office. “We will continue to pursue and bring to justice those who jeopardize U.S. consumers’ health and safety.” 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen H. Locher set sentencing for Tomlinson for April 15, 2022.

The FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam J. Kerndt of the Southern District of Iowa and Trial Attorneys Ross Goldstein and Marcus P. Smith of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch prosecuted the case.

The Department of Justice is remaining vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis. 

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