|Andrew Strempler faces three charges; one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, along with two counts of mail fraud. An indictment outlining the allegations was filed in the United States District Court in Miami in June, 2011. (QMI Agency file)
The Winnipeg man credited with creating Canada’s Internet pharmacy industry is behind bars in Miami, accused in a scheme involving the sale of phony and misbranded medication to unsuspecting customers.
Andrew Strempler, 38, appeared in federal court Thursday, one day after authorities in Panama informed their American counterparts the man was being deported, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals said.
He was wanted on a federal warrant on three charges — one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, along with two counts of mail fraud. An indictment outlining the allegations was filed in the United States District Court in Miami in June, 2011.
Strempler ran RxNorth, which also operated Mediplan Global Health, an Internet, mail and telephone pharmacy out of Minnedosa. But he had another prescription facility, known as the Personal Touch Pharmacy, in the Bahamas, where it’s alleged he filled drug orders but used labels stating the products were handled by RxNorth in Canada, the indictment states.
“Some of the packages contained misbranded and counterfeit drugs,” the indictment reads.
Parcels were shipped in bulk from the facility in the Bahamas to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands before being split up individually to be sent to U.S. customers who were led to believe the products were packaged in Canada, court documents suggest.
From January through October, 2005, RxNorth, falsely stated on its website that its drugs were manufactured under Canada’s strict regulations, “when in fact RxNorth was purchasing large amounts of its drugs from other foreign countries,” court documents state.
Strempler is being held behind bars in Miami. His next court date is Wednesday.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and Strempler is presumed innocent.
If convicted, the maximum for each of the charges he faces is 20 years.
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Andrew Strempler indictment