Charlotte woman pleads guilty to selling fake COVID cures

A 69-year-old Charlotte woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to selling fake COVID-19 remedies for humans on her online pet health store, according to the Justice Department.

Prosecutors said the Food and Drug Administration sent two warning letters to Diana Daffin telling her to stop selling the product, branded HAMPL, on her Holistic Healthy Pet website.

What do you want to know

  • Diana Daffin, 69, pleaded guilty to selling fake coronavirus medicine
  • Charlotte’s wife sent the drug to an undercover FDA agent, Justice Department says
  • The FDA had sent her two warning letters to stop selling the unauthorized drug
  • Plea deal means Daffin will avoid jail time, with prosecutors agreeing to probation

“In February 2021, Daffin sold an undercover law enforcement officer a HAMPL product that she advertised as a drug that could cure, mitigate, treat, and prevent COVID-19 in humans,” according to the DOJ.

She shipped the fake drugs to the New Hampshire undercover agent, prosecutors say. Federal agents arrested Daffin at his home near Charlotte in May 2021.

“In an email prior to the sale, Daffin told the undercover officer, ‘This stuff works for covid, but the FDA shut it down,'” prosecutors said in a press release.

Court records show a lengthy email conversation between Daffin and an undercover FDA agent.

The label on the unregulated drug said it confers “stronger immunity against CVs” and “immunity for humans,” according to court records.

The emails show Daffin giving the agent, who goes by the name “Bill”, a password to access a section of her site where she sold unregulated drugs. The products include many products from Australian company HAMPL, all of which have since been recalled by the Australian government.

“Any coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding these products are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. You should immediately stop making all such claims,” ​​the FDA said in one of several letters d warning addressed to HAMPL.

Daffin pleaded guilty in exchange for probation and no jail time, according to the plea agreement filed in federal court in New Hampshire. She is expected to be sentenced in federal court on November 2.

About Patrick K. Moon

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