Fresno, California - John Derek Gitmed, 53, of Los Angeles, was sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to six years and five months in prison for trafficking in counterfeit goods, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Gitmed, along with his ex-wife, Holly Gitmed, 39, of Riverbank, his daughter Felicia Gitmed, 24, and his nephew Anthony Pollino, 37, both of Los Angeles, conspired to obtain counterfeit copies of the erectile-dysfunction drugs Viagra®, Cialis®, and Levitra®, along with their packaging, and sell them to consumers throughout California and in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. The defendants assured buyers their products were genuine when they were actually cheaply made foreign copies of the drugs.
The defendants operated as a business, calling their operation the “California Confidence Company.” Gitmed admitted that the value of the counterfeit products sold by the conspiracy plus the inventory on hand that was seized was over $1.2 million.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael G. Tierney and Henry Z. Carbajal III are prosecuting the case.
Each of the other defendants previously pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Anthony Pollino was sentenced on October 5, 2015, to approximately five years in prison. Holly Gitmed was sentenced on August 24, 2015, to five months in prison. Felicia Gitmed is scheduled to be sentenced on January 25, 2016. She faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $5 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.