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Lawyer anticipates plea agreement in veterinary-drug case

Sean Gerson accused of illegal internet sales


June 2, 2017
By: Stephen Siciliano
For The VIN News Service


Sean Gerson
VIN News photo
Sean Gerson

A plea agreement may be coming in the federal case of a California man charged with the illegal sale of veterinary pharmaceuticals and pet flea-control products, according to his attorney.

Sean Lawrence Gerson and his company, Vaccination Services Inc., are accused of marketing the drugs Comfortis and ciprofloxacin without a veterinarian's authorization. Gerson was arrested in December.

Gerson's lawyer Jeffrey Kent told the VIN News Service that parties to the case met on Tuesday. “We should be able to work out a plea agreement within the next month or so. No formal plea agreements have been tendered at this point,” he said.

The meeting was a reverse proffer convened by the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles. The prosecution stated in a court filing that it has a “goal of resolving this matter on a pre-trial basis.”

In reverse proffers, the government describes its evidence to the defense with the intent to induce the defendant to plea bargain.

Gerson is neither a veterinarian nor a pharmacist. Government informants said Gerson sold prescription drugs and pet products in counterfeit boxes over the internet without valid prescriptions, according to the affidavit of U.S. Food and Drug Administration special agent Jared Davis.

Gerson is charged with introduction of misbranded animal prescription drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud and mislead; and distribution and sale of an unregistered pesticide, which are violations of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

The suspect pleaded not guilty to the charges in January. His trial had been set for March 7, then postponed to June 6 to accommodate a change of defense counsel. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner agreed to postpone the trial again. The new date is Sept. 19.

The case is not Gerson's first brush with the law. He was convicted in Texas of a similar crime in 2013, and fined in California, as well.




VIN News Service commentaries are opinion pieces presenting insights, personal experiences and/or perspectives on topical issues by members of the veterinary community. To submit a commentary for consideration, email news@vin.com.



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