JACKSONVILLE, Fla — United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Jonathan Corbett Cosie (54, Chesterfield, VA) has pleaded guilty to two counts of introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead.
Cosie faces a maximum penalty of six years in federal prison. His sentencing is set for September 21, 2023. As part of his plea, Cosie agreed to forfeit any unapproved or misbranded drugs.
According to the plea agreement, in Jacksonville, Florida and elsewhere, Cosie operated a business called HCSGRX from approximately 2016 through 2020. HCGRX advertised itself as a distributor of weight loss and bodybuilding supplements.
Among other supplements, Cosie sold a number of products containing HCG, which he falsely stated consumers could purchase as a weight loss supplement without having to obtain a valid prescription. Cosie falsely claimed on his website that his company was cooperating with international pharmacies to ship orders out.
The investigation revealed that Cosie obtained unapproved prescription drugs containing HCG from foreign manufacturers and other sources, then applied to the vials his own counterfeit labels which contained false and misleading information. Cosie then knowingly and intentionally sold the drugs to consumers without a prescription or the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner.
From October 28, 2017, through December 24, 2020, Cosie received approximately $626,202 in proceeds from the distribution of misbranded drugs, and $20,000 when he sold the HCGRX business.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (“HCG”) is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several prescription drugs containing HCG for the treatment of female infertility and for other medical conditions. The FDA has not approved any HCG-containing products for weight loss, nor for any purpose without a prescription.
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This case was investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David B. Mesrobian. The asset forfeiture is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Mai Tran.