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Doctor and Pharmacy Owner Plead Guilty in Internet Pharmacy Conspiracy
Date:9/19/2007

s for prescription drugs, generating in excess of $26 million in revenue for Affpower. Saveon RX received approximately $7 for each order shipped from the Affpower organization, in addition to the pharmacy's product costs. Covino also earned a personal commission for each order shipped by Saveon RX.

Prasad admitted under the terms of his plea agreement that, as a licensed physician in Kentucky and Ohio, he was recruited by Affpower to review and approve orders for prescription drugs. In a four-month period between March and June 2006, he approved more than 30,790 orders for prescription drugs from Affpower customers. He occasionally reviewed and approved more than 1,000 orders in a day, sometimes spending fewer than five seconds reviewing the online medical questionnaire. Affpower usually paid Dr. Prasad $3 for every customer order he reviewed and his earnings during that four-month period exceeded $95,000. Dr. Prasad also admitted that he and other Affpower doctors: had no contact with Affpower customers and lacked any physician- patient relationship with them; were not issuing prescriptions in the usual course of a professional practice; and were not issuing the prescriptions for a legitimate medical purpose, but simply to make money.

Covino faces a maximum of 25 years in prison for both counts of conspiracy. Prasad faces a maximum of five years in prison for conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances. Both are scheduled to be sentenced on March 17, 2008.

Covino and Prasad are two of 18 defendants charged by indictment on July 27, 2007, for their involvement in the Affpower online pharmaceutical business. Defendants include: three physicians (including Prasad), two pharmacists, a pharmacy owner (Covino), an administrator and manager, two recruiters of physicians and pharmacies, a credit card processor, and eight affiliate website operators. From August 2004 through June 2006, the Affpower enterprise allegedly received over one milli
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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