Contact Us
Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

Menu

Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

Nearby Towns

  • Northern Valley
    serves Harrington Park, Haworth, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan & Rockleigh
  • Bergenfield
    serves Bergenfield, Dumont & New Milford
  • Englewood
    serves Alpine, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs & Tenafly
DV Pilot police & fire

Bergen husband and wife admit dealing bogus Viagra, Cialis, other drugs

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A husband and wife from Closter admitted today that they sold the equivalent of $2.5 million worth of counterfeit Viagra, Cialis, Lexapro and other pharmaceuticals made in India to customers here.

The tablets, which in some cases were designed to look like the genuine articles, weren’t tested or approved by the FDA for distribution in the United States and had no safety warnings on their labels, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said today.

Nita Patel, 47, and Harshad Patel, 53, an Indian national, pleaded guilty to a single count of unlicensed distribution of pharmaceuticals — nearly six months to the day that a co-conspirator copped a plea (That man, 31-year-old Moloy Ghosh of India, was sentenced to eight months in federal prison in March).

All three were arrested and charged on April 2, 2010.

An undercover law enforcement officer got hold of Nita Patel, who was selling his “generic” forms of patented pharmaceuticals products online, and received a price list, Fishman said.

For the next several months, the Patels “negotiated with the undercover officer for the sale of more than 300,000 tablets of counterfeit drugs,” including the erectile dysfunction drugs, as well as counterfeit versions of Abilify (used for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), Lexapro (used for treating depression), and Plavix (an anti-coagulant), Fishman said.

All of the counterfeit drugs were shipped from Ghosh’s business in India, where he lived and worked before coming to the U.S. on a business visa April 2, 2010 – the day before all three were aarrested.

Like Patel, Ghosh tried using a bogus name Customs Declaration to try and slip by authorities, Fishman said.

Had the drugs the defendants sold to the undercover law enforcement officer been authentic, he said, they would have had a wholesale acquisition cost of more than $2.5 million.

The Patels could be looking at up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, or “twice the gross gain or loss from the offense,” when they are sentenced Aug. 23, Fishman said.

The U.S. Attorney credited special agents of the FBI in Newark with making the case, handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacob T. Elberg of his Health Care and Government Fraud Unit and Amy Luria of the Office’s General Crimes Unit.

Welcome to

Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice!

Serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

This is a one time message inviting you to keep in touch

Get important news about your town as it happens.