Texas Jury Convicts Man in Internet Pharmacy Conspiracy

Internet pharmacies have become a growing phenomenon in recent years, offering consumers unparalleled convenience and, often, prices that that are comparatively cheap when considered alongside the prescription prices for drugs sold in traditional pharmacies.

They can also be fraudulent, as found by a Texas jury that recently convicted the owner and operator of a national drug-dispensing Internet operation of multiple conspiracy and money-laundering counts. David Allen Vogel was convicted on June 30 in a Texas federal court in Beaumont on charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of money laundering.

Vogel, a 49-year-old New York resident, owned Madison Pain Clinic and, along with several co-defendants, operated the enterprise from August 2000 to November 2007. Federal prosecutors allege that, during that time, the company distributed several million doses of controlled substances - including hydrocodone - to people lacking valid prescriptions. Vogel used a portion of his earnings from the business to buy a multi-million condominium in Trump Towers in Manhattan.

The trial lasted eight days. In addition to the charges against Vogel, the government seized over $ 4 million from several bank accounts, and the jury also awarded the government a money judgment amounting to nearly $25 million.

Vogel awaits a sentencing date. He could receive up to a five-year sentence in a federal prison on the drug conspiracy charge, up to 20 years on the money laundering conspiracy charge, and 10 years for each of his two money laundering charges. 

Related Resource: kdfm.com "Man must forfeit $29 million for Internet drug conspiracy" July 1, 2010

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