Shengyang Zhou was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison for trafficking and attempting to traffic in counterfeit goods, namely counterfeit versions of the pharmaceutical weight loss drug Alli®. Zhou was also ordered to pay over $500,000 in restitution to the victims of his crime, including a man who suffered a stroke from ingesting the counterfeit pills. Zhou, who also went by the name “Tom,” was a national of China and following his prison sentence, he will be deported. Zhou was arrested in March 2010, and indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver, CO, on April 22, 2010. He pleaded guilty to criminal charges on January 24, 2011, and was sentenced on June 2, 2011.
FDA issued alerts regarding tainted weight loss pills and counterfeits, such as “Superslim,” “2 Day Diet,” and Meitzitang, from December 2008 to March 2009. An investigation identified Zhou as the trafficker and importer into the US of these counterfeit and unapproved purported weight loss related drugs. Zhou also identified himself as the manufacturer of the counterfeit Alli. Details about the case and the investigation are available in a Department of Justice press release posted on the FDA Web site.