Con man who made $700,000 selling toxic fertilizer as a diet pill online is sentenced to three years
- Scott Edward Cavell, 36, developed a scheme to market and sell a toxic fertilizer known as 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), as a weight loss drug
- He was sentenced to three years in jail, the Department of Justice said
- Cavell collected at least $763,000 for compounding cheap fertilizer into pills
- He was previously linked to a Ponzi Scheme dating back to the mortgage crisis
A California man was sentenced to three years in prison for selling a toxic fertilizer as a fat-burning pill online, officials said.
Scott Edward Cavell, 36, along with others, developed a scheme to market and sell a drug, 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), as a weight loss drug and ‘fat burner.’
This is despite him knowing that DNP is not approved by the FDA as a substance for ‘human consumption,’ according to the Department of Justice.
DNP is used commercially to make dyes, wood preservatives, and as a fertilizer or pesticide. The chemical is toxic to humans.
DNP is used commercially to make dyes, wood preservatives, and as a fertilizer or pesticide. The chemical is toxic to humans. Cavell compounded the drug into marketable pills
Cavell sold DNP pills on websites and claimed it was a fertilizer, which means which is it legally sold in other circumstances.
Cavell admitted that he controlled websites that marketed the drug as a supplement while at the same time discouraging its use.
He went on to sell DNP pills on another website, thefertilizerwarehouse.com, for the purpose of misleading U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulators.
According to court documents, Cavell collected at least $763,000 for compounding cheap fertilizer into pills for human consumption.
U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott said: ‘Cavell thought he could trick regulators. He was wrong. It’s past time for him to learn that we will ensure that these types of schemes are stopped to keep the community safe.
‘Drugs that are produced and distributed outside of the FDA’s oversight present the prospect of harm to consumer health,’said Special Agent Lisa L. Malinowski at the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Los Angeles.
‘The FDA will continue to work to prevent the illegal online sales of dangerous, unapproved drugs and we’re committed to protecting consumers from criminals who put profits above the health and safety of the U.S. public.’
Rafael Nunez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at San Francisco said: ‘Postal Inspectors have worked closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement in operations just like this one to keep dangerous drugs out of the communities we serve.’
Cavell fled to Ireland after prosecutors said he was of part of one of the region’s largest Ponzi schemes dating back to the mortgage crisis more than a decade ago.
According to US court documents, him and his accomplices defrauded investors and mortgage companies of millions since 2006, involving 500 homes and condominiums across several US states.
He was arrested and held in Ireland on a marijuana charge until he volunteered to return to the U.S. He then spent two years in prison for wire fraud in 2014, The Sacramento Bee reported.