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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sex Pill Maker Arrested For Fraud

Press Release

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office

District of Puerto Rico

Businessman Arrested For Introducing Misbranded Drugs Into Interstate 
Commerce, Conspiracy, Wire And Mail Fraud

SAN JUAN, P.R. – Yesterday, a Federal grand jury returned an indictment
against Jorge L. Pagán Kortright and his companies AWD Group Inc. doing
business as El Torito USA, Inc., Allied Worldwide Distributors Inc., and All
Wheel Drive Corp., for introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate co-
mmerce, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud, announ-
ced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of
Puerto Rico. The investigation was led by the Food and  Drug Administration,
Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI), with the collaboration of the
Puerto Rico Police Department, Guayama Municipal Police, and the Puerto
Rico Treasury Department (Departamento de Hacienda).

The indictment alleges that the defendants, aiding and abetting each other, with
the intent to defraud or mislead, introduced and delivered for introduction into
interstate commerce drugs, namely, “El Torito Plus 1000 mg,” ‘El Torito Xtre-
me 500 mg,” and “El Torito Black Bull Power 500 mg” that were misbranded;
the labeling of each drug was false and misleading. The drugs were sold on El
Torito’s website, Amazon.com, eBay.com, and at gas stations throughout Puer-
to Rico.

“El Torito Plus 1000 mg,” “El Torito Xtreme 500 mg,” and “El Torito Black
Bull Power 500 mg,” were capsules and pills sold over the counter and on the
Internet that were labeled and marketed as “100% natural” dietary supplements
 and performance enhancers. The capsules and pills were marketed as “natural
supplements for men and women” to “help” “achieve a pleasant and lasting se-
xual experience with all natural ingredients.” In fact, El Torito’s products con-
tained sildenafil and tadalafil (the active ingredients in Viagra™ and Cialis™
respectively), and their synthetic analogs, including desmethyl-carbodenafil
and dithiodesmethyl-carbodenafil.  Sildenafil and tadalafil are the active ingre-
dients of branded drugs approved by the FDA and are also “prescription drugs”
that, because of their toxicity and other potential harmful effects, were not safe
for use except under the supervision of a practitioner licensed by law to adminis-
ter such drugs.  These undeclared ingredients may interact with nitrates found
in some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure
to dangerous levels for individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cho-
lesterol, or heart disease.

It was the object of the conspiracy for defendants and their coconspirators to
unlawfully enrich themselves by obtaining money and property from indivi-
duals under the false and fraudulent pretenses and representation that indivi-
duals were purchasing “100% natural” dietary supplements and performance
enhancers when, in fact, defendants were selling misbranded prescription

During the course of the conspiracy, e-mail communications were sent by de-
fendants to their manufacturers, distributors, and others in furtherance of the
scheme to defraud and payments were received using PayPal. For example,
one of the emails sent by an El Torito distributor to lttcards@gmail.com un-
der the name “Jorge Pagan” stated that: “you need to change the pictures of
Torito chinese box from the website because the sheriff will probably look at
the site for info and i told them that Torito is made in usa and i showed them
the box without the chinese letters.”

Another email communication sent from lttcards@gmail.com under the name
“Jorge Pagan” to a manufacturing contact stated that he was “only worried a-
bout my investment and the loss of money if authorities find controlled ingre-
dients. The authority will only get involve when the big pharmasuricals [sic]
companies pressure them because they lose sales with these products.” “If Mr.
Wangs product get problems, all he has to do is send me a new brand name
box and just change the style of the packaging the capsule in the blister pack
and we can do this for ten years. So the authorities will be fooled all the time.”

As part of the scheme to commit the mail fraud, the defendants knowingly pla-
ced in an authorized depository for mail, to be sent and delivered by the United
States Postal Service, numerous El Torito products.

“The authorities were not fooled by these criminals who are now in federal
custody,” said United States Attorney, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “The
law requires that drugs be produced and branded under the most rigorous of
quality standards. When individuals and companies fail to exercise the vigi-
lance that the law demands, they will held be accountable. Today’s arrest
shows that we will not tolerate criminals who engage in fraudulent schemes
in order to enrich themselves without considering how their actions may a-
ffect the health and well-being of others.”

“Distributing prescription drugs disguised as all-natural dietary supplements
puts the health and safety of the American public at risk,” said Acting Special
Agent in Charge Robert J. West, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Mia-
mi Field Office. “We will continue to focus our resources on removing illegal
products from the marketplace, as well as prosecuting those who attempt to
evade FDA regulations.”

FDA-OCI was the lead agency which conducted the investigation, with the
collaboration of PRPD, Hacienda and the Guayama Municipal Police. The
case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Cass. Attorney Sha-
nnon M. Singleton from the FDA’s Office of Chief Counsel provided valuable
assistance to this criminal investigation.

If found guilty, the defendant could face a possible sentence of up to 30 years
in prison for the mail and wire fraud counts. Indictments contain only charges
and are not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and
until proven guilty by a unanimous jury.

If you have used El Torito products in the past and have questions you may
call 1-888-INFO-FDA or contact the FDA online at www.fda.gov.

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