LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A foreign doctor who supplied phony erectile dysfunction drugs to distributors in the Southland and elsewhere was sentenced today in Los Angeles to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay almost $200,000 to companies he defrauded.
Bing “Robin” Han, 43, a New Zealand citizen who resided in China prior to his arrest earlier this year, pleaded guilty in July to federal charges stemming from a long-term probe by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Han was originally indicted in December 2007, but remained at large until last March when he was arrested at San Francisco International Airport following his arrival on a flight from Hong Kong, prosecutors said.
The HSI probe targeting Han began in 2006 after customs officers at a mail facility in Northern California intercepted a parcel shipped from China that contained counterfeit Cialis tablets and phony Cialis packaging.
The ensuing investigation identified Han as the sender. According to the indictment, Han advertised the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals on a number of websites, including alibaba.com.
During the course of the probe, HSI special agents made undercover buys of some 20,000 counterfeit Viagra, Cialis and Levitra tablets with an estimated retail value of about $200,000.
On the parcels Han shipped to the undercover special agents, the packing slips falsely claimed the contents were plastic stationery holders and pen boxes, according to federal prosecutors.
The restitution amount is owed to the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Lilly and Bayer — makers of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, respectively.