Money laundering added to FedEx drug case

SAN FRANCISCO — Federal prosecutors say several addicts died soon after receiving shipments of illegal prescription drugs via FedEx.

The deaths were included in a new indictment filed late Thursday against FedEx that adds money laundering to a list of charges the company is facing over allegations it knowingly shipped illegal prescription drugs from two online pharmacies.

The indictment alleges that on at least five dates, “FedEx delivered controlled substances and prescription drugs from online pharmacies to individuals who subsequently died or accidentally caused the death of others.”

The Memphis, Tennessee-based shipping giant is not charged with any of the deaths. No executives have been named in the indictment. The company faces a $1.6 billion fine if found guilty.

The three money laundering charges allege the online pharmacies paid their FedEx bills with money obtained illegally.

FedEx Corp. already was facing 15 conspiracy and drug charges that were filed last month for allegedly shipping powerful sleep aids, sedatives, pain killers and other drugs needing prescriptions to use. Rival UPS Inc. paid $40 million last year to resolve similar allegations.

The accusations against the two shipping companies arise from a nearly decade-long crackdown on Internet pharmacies that ship prescription drugs to customers lacking medical clearance.

In settling its case, UPS said it overhauled it procedures and worked with investigators to detect suspicious activity.

FedEx, on the other hand, said it’s not a law enforcement agency and to work with authorities in the manner they demand would require invading the privacy of their customers.

“FedEx is innocent of these and all of the charges filed in this matter,” spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald said. “We will plead not guilty. We will continue to defend against this attack on the integrity of FedEx.”

Fitzgerald said FedEx will stop serving any online pharmacies that federal authorities tell it are operating illegally. “We have asked for a list, and they have sent us indictments,” he said.

More in Herald Business Journal

Driving the Dodge Demon, the world’s fastest production car

Our test took place at US 131 Motorsports Park, on a fully prepped professional drag strip.

Mountlake Terrace-based 1st Security Bank wasn’t traded publicly during the recession, but it has seen a steady growth since the recession. (Jim Davis / HBJ)
How stocks in local banks fared since the recession

Every bank was hit hard during the recession, but most have bounced back in a big way.

A look at what some stores have planned for Black Friday

With unemployment low, stores are hoping customers are in a mood to shop.

Boeing bolsters team for potential 797 with leading engineer

Terry Beezhold has been chief project engineer for the 777X program.

Tom Hoban
Are millennials warming up to life in suburbia?

They dominate the apartment market and their wants need to be accounted for, says columnist Tom Hoban.

Camano artist mixes flask, paintings for successful cocktail

Art flasks prove popular as bachelorette gifts, birthday presents and wedding favors.

Katie Garrison
New agent joins Re/Max Elite’s office in Snohomish

Re/Max Elite welcomed a new agent to its Snohomish office. Katie Garrison… Continue reading

UW Bothell Pub Talk looks at Greenhouse Gas Mystery

The Greenhouse Gas Mystery is the topic for the next UW Bothell… Continue reading

EvergreenHealth Monroe pharmacy interns travel to Ghana

Earlier this year, University of Washington School of Pharmacy students and EvergreenHealth… Continue reading

Most Read