FedEx indicted of delivering prescription pills from illegal internet pharmacies

18 Jul 2014


FedEx Corp has been accused in a federal indictment of delivering prescription pain pills, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs and other controlled substances for illegal internet pharmacies, Bloomberg reported.

According to the company's regulatory filing, the conviction could be ''material.''

The world's largest cargo carrier was indicted on 15 counts of conspiracy for distribution of controlled substances and misbranded drugs and drug trafficking, carrying a potential fine of twice the gains from the illegal conduct, alleged to be at least $820 million for it and co-conspirators.

The company delivered drugs to internet pharmacies that supplied pills direct to customers, without any involvement of doctors, knowing these practices violated federal and state drug laws, the federal indictment said.

The company said it would fight the charges, saying it could not be responsible for the contents of the 10 million packages it transported daily and that policing customers amounted to violation of their policy.

''FedEx is innocent of the charges,'' Patrick Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the Memphis, Tennessee-based company, said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. ''We will plead not guilty. We will defend against this attack on the integrity and good name of FedEx and its employees.''

The prosecutors said, the company was fully aware that the shipping services it provided to two internet pharmacies violated the law, The Washington Post reported.

''FedEx knew that it was delivering drugs to dealers and addicts,'' said a press release from the US attorney's office of the Northern District of California.

Without denying the charges, the company said monitoring packages for illegal substances was not its job.

''We are a transportation company - we are not law enforcement,'' said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president for marketing and communications, in a written statement.

However, according to the indictment, the company was interested in revenue from dubious internet pharmacies to create bureaucratic workarounds. With an eye toward employee evaluations, salespeople did not want the frequent closure of these pharmacies' FedEx accounts to reflect poorly on their performance.

According to the indictment, the company added a ''catchall'' category that was not tied to yearly sales goals or specific employees. That allowed company representatives to take money from fly-by-night businesses, without any fear of punishment.

According to the indictment, employees complained when ''trucks had been stopped on the road by internet pharmacy customers demanding packages of pills; delivery addresses included parking lots, schools, and vacant homes where people would wait for deliveries of drugs; customers would jump on FedEX trucks and demand internet pharmacy packages.''

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