Northeast Philadelphia Physician
Charged with Trafficking Diet Pills
AUG 3 -- PHILADELPHIA - Special Agent in Charge James M. Kasson announced today the unsealing of an indictment against DR. ALBERT KOFSKY, D.O., charging him with trafficking in massive quantities of Schedule III and Schedule IV diet pills, including phentermine, from a small office in Northeast Philadelphia. Dr. Kofsky was licensed to dispense these drugs only in the course of a legitimate medical practice and is alleged to have made more than $8.7 million from the illegal sales. During a five-year period between August 2001 and August 2006, Kofsky is alleged to have acquired 2,500,000 diet pills from pharmaceutical wholesalers for potential distribution.
According to Special Agent in Charge James M. Kasson of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Philadelphia Office, "The overwhelming success of this investigation is the direct result of the commitment, hard work and cooperation of our federal, state, and local counterparts. Let the message ring clear, if you illegally sell drugs over the internet you will be arrested and prosecuted. Electronic drug dealers cannot evade the resources and the commitment of the DEA and our partners in law enforcement."
Over the last decade, to protect and conceal his illegal diet pill sales business, Dr. Kofsky tried to make it appear to government regulators, to his suppliers, and to others that he was dispensing these medicines as part of a legitimate medical practice, when in fact, the indictment charges, Dr. Kofsky sold these diet pills on a first-come, first-served basis, to anyone with the cash to buy them. He hired his former cleaning lady to help with sales and called her his “nurse.” He called his customers “patients” and usually without even going through the process, had those working with him, write down names, weights, and blood pressures of customers on index cards and called them “diet patient records.” At the time of the indictment, virtually all of Dr. Kofsky’s customers were repeat buyers of diet pills.
To evade currency reporting requirements imposed on banks for large cash transactions, which he believed might raise questions about the true nature of his drug business, every week Dr. Kofsky structured cash deposits into his business account, so that he did not deposit in excess of $10,000. Over the course of the last five years, each year he structured cash deposits of over $500,000. In total over this period he structured about $2.5 million in cash and generated from the illegal sales of diet pills in excess of $8.7 million. Dr. Kofsky kept over $1 million in cash in his home.
If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 1,394 years imprisonment, three years to a lifetime of supervised release, a fine of $57 million, and a special assessment of $12,800.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and has been assigned to the Assistant United States Attorney Pamela Foa.
For more information, contact: William Hocker at (215) 861-3436