Fed Ex and UPS announced they both were targets of an investigation by the Department of Justice related to illegal online pharmacies. The pharmacies have become the target of a crackdown by federal investigators and international authorities for prescription drug abuse.
The two companies disclosed they were being investigated in recent regulatory filings. A FedEx spokesperson said the probe was ongoing in a statement and interview Thursday afternoon.
The Department of Justice crackdown against pharmacies operating online was launched seven years ago with many arrests being made over that period and many of the online sites have been closed. Millions of dollars has been recovered and many medications seized around the world.
Now the investigation has broadened beyond online pharmacy operators. Google, Inc. paid a settlement of more than $500 million to the DOJ, which said that Google had been profiting from advertisements the online pharmacies had placed on its search engine.
Three people were convicted Thursday by a jury of operating pharmacies online that illegally sent drugs using FedEx and UPS that did not have proper prescriptions. Already this year, in other related cases seven people have been found guilty.
A spokesperson for FedEx did not know if the Thursday’s convictions in San Francisco involved the investigation of the shipper. The DOJ is investigating the relationship between the transporting of UPS and FedEx packages that contained the drugs and the illegal online pharmacies.
The FedEx spokesperson said the ongoing probe was absurd. The shipping company has denied all wrongdoing.
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