Wednesday, June 20, 2018
A Houston, Texas man was sentenced to 58 months in prison for his role in a money laundering conspiracy, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas.
According to documents and information provided to the court, Marcus T. Weathersby conspired with others to facilitate the fraudulent sale of second-hand prescription medications to a Utah-based wholesale distributor. This scheme involved purchasing bottles of prescription medications from illegitimate sources and then selling the medications to another wholesale distributor who then sold them to pharmacies as new. Federal regulation requires wholesale distributors of prescription medications to provide to a buyer a pedigree – a written statement identifying each prior sale, purchase, or trade of the drugs being sold that includes the business name and information of all parties to the prior transactions, starting with the manufacturer.
Weathersby, in approximately December 2010, established Acacia Pharma Distributors Inc. (Acacia), a Mississippi corporation. Nearly eight months later, Weathersby directed another individual to incorporate Four Corner Suppliers Inc. (Four Corner) in Mississippi. Acacia and Four Corner purported to be legitimate wholesale distributors of pharmaceuticals licensed and operating in Mississippi, however, in reality Weathersby and others used these corporations to facilitate the illegal sale of second-hand prescription drugs.
Weathersby also opened and caused others to open bank accounts in the names of Acacia and Four Corner. Between February 2011 and July 2012, Weathersby withdrew and led others to withdraw over $2.9 million in cash from these bank accounts and to structure these cash withdrawals in amounts under $10,000 in order to prevent the banks from complying with their legal obligation to prepare currency transaction reports for each cash transaction over $10,000.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Lee H. Rosenthal ordered Weathersby to serve three years of supervised release, and imposed a money judgment against the defendant in the amount of $2,991,867.76, which will be applied as criminal restitution.