Owner of Texas Sport Supplement Company to Forfeit $3.5 Million, Brett Becker Sentenced for Unlawful Distribution of Steroid-like Drugs
ABINGDON, VA (STL.News) Brett Becker, the owner of Accelerated Genetix, LLC, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to six months home confinement for introducing unapproved new drugs into interstate commerce, Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar announced today.
Becker, 32, currently of Concord, Michigan, and Accelerated Genetix, LLC, a sport supplement company based in Argyle, Texas, pleaded guilty in December 2020 to one count of distributing unapproved new drugs with the intent to mislead and defraud the FDA and consumers.
“For years, Becker and his company put their customers’ health at risk by unlawfully distributing drugs without FDA approval, which is a serious crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Bubar. “This case should serve as an additional notice that the marketing and distribution of unapproved SARMS will not be tolerated and that we will work with FDA to prosecute those who do.”
“Sports supplements that are manufactured and distributed outside the FDA’s oversight and that contain unapproved and possibly toxic ingredients endanger the health of unsuspecting consumers,” said Assistant Commissioner for Criminal Investigations Catherine A. Hermsen, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations. “Today’s actions represent our continued commitment to pursuing and bringing to justice those who mislead the public and intentionally attempt to subvert the regulatory functions of the FDA through the distribution of unapproved and potentially dangerous products.”
Becker admitted that from approximately January 2016 to March 2019, he and his company unlawfully distributed Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (“SARMs”) and other substances that the FDA has not approved, including Ostarine and Ligandrol. SARMs are synthetic chemicals designed to mimic the effects of testosterone and other anabolic steroids. The FDA has long warned against the use of SARMs like those found in Accelerated Genetix products, including stating in a public 2017 warning letter to another firm that SARMs have been linked to life-threatening reactions including liver toxicity, and have the potential to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Becker also admitted that he intended to mislead and defraud the FDA and consumers by importing these ingredients even after learning they were mislabeled by the distributor when they were shipped from China to the United States; misrepresenting Accelerated Genetix products as “dietary supplements” to create the impression that they were safe and legal to use; and manufacturing a custom order of a SARMs product despite knowing it was illegal to introduce the unapproved new drug into interstate commerce.
In connection with his plea, Becker agreed to forfeit approximately $3.5 million, reflecting the amount of Accelerated Genetix products sold across the United States through retail outlets and over the internet.
Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Speare Hodges of the Department of Justice Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch are prosecuting the case. This matter was investigated by the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations.