Quote3 Charged in Alleged Steroid Scheme
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The owner of a New Jersey pharmaceutical company and two doctors from New York have been charged in an alleged scheme to illegally prescribe anabolic steroids and human growth hormone to bodybuilders in several states, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Daniel McGlone, 54, owner of American Pharmaceutical Group, and Ana Maria Santi, who previously had been stripped of her license to practice medicine, were charged in an 80-count indictment issued Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Providence. Victor Mariani, a licensed physician with a practice in New York City, was charged separately and has agreed to plead guilty, the U.S. attorney's office in Rhode Island said.
McGlone and Santi face charges of health care fraud, conspiracy and illegal drug distribution. McGlone, of North Brunswick, N.J., faces an additional 51 counts of money laundering. Prosecutors say McGlone obtained $860,810 through the alleged scheme, which ran from April 2004 until August 2006.
Bob Mann, an attorney for McGlone, said Thursday he was still reviewing the indictment.
"We'll address the issues in court," he said, adding that his client planned to plead not guilty.
Attorneys for Santi and Mariani did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
The use or distribution of human growth hormone is restricted under federal law to specified medical uses, such as wasting disease associated with AIDS. It is not approved for bodybuilding or weight-loss treatments.
Prosecutors say McGlone advertised steroids and human growth hormone in publications geared toward body builders. When customers contacted him, he advised them what substances they could use for bodybuilding, weight-loss and anti-aging purposes, the indictment alleges.
After receiving orders from customers, prosecutors said, McGlone paid Santi and Mariani to write the prescriptions, even though they never met or examined the patients.
The state of New York revoked Santi's medical license in 1999. The indictment alleges she forged the signature of a retired doctor who was living in a California nursing home on the prescriptions.
The indictment says McGlone forwarded the prescriptions to various large pharmacies, which distributed the steroids to customers in Rhode Island and other states. It says he received money either from the pharmacy or his customers, and then paid the doctors out of his profit.
Mariani was arraigned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Providence and was released on unsecured bond pending a court hearing next month. He has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and illegal drug distribution charges, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Federal agents arrested McGlone at his home in New Jersey, and he was released after posting $500,000 bail. Santi is currently in state custody in New York on unrelated charges, prosecutors said.