A Brighton woman has been sentenced to two years and three months in prison after allowing two merchant accounts she set up to be used to process sales of counterfeit and unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines. The sentence was handed down to Janice Sofoulakis at the Old Bailey on February 1st following a long running investigation which convicted 12 individuals in 2015.
The medicines, which were sold predominantly over the internet, had an estimated value of £11 million with a suggested annual turnover in excess of £3 million. The woman facilitated payments for the purchase of unlicensed erectile dysfunction medicines and claims that she received 10% of the ‘earnings’ laundered through her account but was unaware that the money was for the unlicensed medicine, Kamagra.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that samples of the products were found to contain potent, active medicinal ingredients with potential serious side effects and are classified as prescription only. Supply without medical supervision is dangerous as the contents of unlicensed medicines are unknown and untested.
Alastair Jeffrey, MHRA head of enforcement, said: “Selling medicines outside of the regulated supply chain is a serious criminal offence. If you buy medicines online, you are potentially trusting a criminal to look after your health.”