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USPLabs Execs Arrested Over OxyElite Pro Scandal

USPLabs Execs Arrested Over OxyElite Pro Scandal

November 18, 2015 — The Justice Department has arrested six executives at USPLabs for selling OxyElite Pro weight-loss supplements laced with illegal synthetic amphetamine-like stimulant drugs made at a chemical factory in China.

The 11-count indictment (PDF) was filed in federal court in Dallas, Texas, after a yearlong investigation. The crackdown involves 117 manufacturers of illegal supplements, centering around the biggest offender — USPLabs, LLC.

The company raked in over $400 million selling Jack3D and OxyElite Pro from October 2008 through October 2013.

Federal agents seized luxury cars, sports cars, real estate in Texas, and dozens of investment accounts. Three top executives at USPLabs were also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The Justice Department issued this statement:

“The USPlabs case and others brought as part of this sweep illustrate alarming practices the department found—practices that must be brought to the public’s attention so consumers know the serious health risks of untested products.”

OxyElite Pro and Jack3D originally contained 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA), a synthetic stimulant made in China. Investigators found that Chinese suppliers were told to create fake labels calling DMAA an extract of the “geranium” plant.

The FDA cracked down on DMAA after dozens of people experienced cardiovascular events and other side effects. USPLabs fought the FDA for over a year and continued selling the supplements until U.S. marshals seized $8 million worth of product.

USPLabs responded by re-formulating OxyElite Pro with another illegal synthetic stimulant from China. Within months, dozens of people were diagnosed with liver damage or liver failure, including one woman who died.

During the outbreak, USPLabs insisted the ingredients had shown “no negative liver issues.” However, the Justice Department says executives were aware that studies had linked the ingredient to “liver toxicity” and included it in OxyElite Pro with no safety testing.

USPLabs recalled OxyElite Pro in November 2013 — after completing a secret “all-hands-on-deck effort to sell as much OxyElite Pro as it could as quickly as possible” and ship it outside the country to avoid seizure by the FDA.

According to NPR, dietary supplements often remain on the market even after they are recalled due to illegal ingredients. Every year, tens of thousand of people visit the emergency room after they are injured by supplements.

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