Following a complex investigation spanning four and a half years, Lee Tomlinson was sentenced yesterday at Hove Trial Centre to 2 years, 10 months imprisonment for his involvement in laundering the proceeds of illegal sales of medicines intended to treat erectile dysfunction.
A repeat money laundering offender, Tomlinson’s illicit money laundering scheme on behalf of a criminal network was uncovered by enforcement officers from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, as part of an investigation into the illegal sale of medicines over the internet.
Tomlinson used his bank accounts to collect proceeds from online sales and acted as a conduit for other individuals in the criminal network.
Included among the illegally supplied medicines were the unlicensed Kamagra and Super Kamagra, as well as Erectalis, Eriacta and Tadacip. The active ingredients of these medicines include Sildenafil, Tadalafil (for the treatment of erectile dysfunction) and dapoxetine (premature ejaculation treatment). Unlicensed medicines may have potentially dangerous side effects, including an increased risk of heart attacks.
The unauthorised sale of these medicines poses a public health risk and, in aiding the criminal network responsible, Tomlinson has shown open disregard for public safety.
Mark Jackson, the MHRA’s Head of Enforcement, said:
“Our message is clear: illegally supplying unauthorised medicines is a serious criminal offence.
“MHRA investigators have worked closely with other authorities to prosecute those involved in this case and we will continue to track down those endangering public safety.
“As evidenced by the sophistication of this money laundering scheme, those profiting from selling medicines illegally not only pose a serious threat to public safety but are willing to go to extreme lengths to avoid being held accountable.
“Be careful when buying medicines online, and if you are in any doubt about the products you are buying do not buy them. Seek advice from your GP or another healthcare professional.”
Visit www.gov.uk/fakemedsfor tips on buying medicines safely online and how to avoid unscrupulous sites.