Supplement-Maker Who Diluted Products With Other Powders Sentenced To 40 Months In Prison



When you buy a food product or a dietary supplement, you should be confident that the product’s ingredients are listed on the label, and that you’re getting what you paid for. Federal prosecutors say that one dietary supplement wholesaler in New Jersey spent four years selling products diluted with products like maltodextrin or rice flour, increasing profits but defrauding customers. The company’s owner now must forfeit $1 million in profits and has been sentenced to 40 months in prison and one year of supervised release.

The company’s name, Raw Deal Inc., was unintentionally appropriate, with a double meaning referring to trendy “raw” nutrients and a common expression that means a bad deal. It was the company’s customers who got an actual raw deal: they were buying diluted products that didn’t contain the substances that distributors had paid for. During the four years that this scheme operated, the company earned a profit of between $7 and $20 million.

Some products were sold as certified organic or certified kosher, but were distributed with false certificates. When Food and Drug Administration inspectors came to visit, the factory simply didn’t blend adulterants into products in front of the inspectors.

The company’s owner pleaded guilty back in December, and the executive vice president pleaded guilty to obstructing an agency investigation. She could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or one calculated based on how much the person’s crime gained.

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