Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Oz

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 30, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MORAN OZ (2); BABUBHAIPATEL (3); LACHLAN SCOTT MCCONNELL (6); ELIAS KARKALAS (8); PRABHAKARA RAO TUMP ATI (9); Defendants.

          Jacqueline Blaesi-Freed, Linda I. Marks, U.S. Department of Justice, Consumer Protection Branch, and Roger J. Gural, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, for the United States of America.

          Joseph S. Friedberg, Joseph S. Friedberg, Chartered, Robert D. Richman, for Defendant Moran Oz.

          JaneAnne Murray, Murray Law LLC, for Defendant Babubhai Patel.

          Marie Celine Pacyga and Ryan M. Pacyga, Pacyga and Associates, PA, for Defendant Lachlan Scott McConnell.

          Daniel L. Gerdts, John C. Brink, for Defendant Elias Karkalas.

          James E. Ostgard, Ostgard Law Office, Paul Daniel Schneck, Paul Daniel Schneck, LTD, for Defendant Prabhakara Rao Tumpati.

          ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Government's Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Defendants' Mistaken Belief that Their Conduct was Lawful (Gov't's Mot.”) [Doc. No. 699]. For the reasons set forth below, the Government's Motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Defendants are charged with a variety of offenses related to their involvement with an online pharmacy, RX Limited (“RXL”). (See Indict. [Doc. No. 5].) In relevant part, Defendants are charged with misbranding drugs in violation of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (“FDCA”), mail and wire fraud, distribution of a controlled substance in violation of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), and related conspiracy charges. (See id.) Each of these charges requires that the Government prove that Defendants acted with knowledge or intent. See 21 U.S.C. § 841(h)(1); 21 U.S.C. § 333(a)(2); 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1343.

         The Government contends that none of these charges require it to prove that Defendants “knew they were violating the law[, ]” or that they “specifically intended to violate the law.” (Gov't's Mot. at 1, 3.) The Government therefore asks that the Court exclude any argument or testimony “attempting to establish defendants did not specifically know their actions violated the law.” (Id. at 4.) Furthermore, the Government argues that the Court should exclude any evidence regarding Defendants' mistaken belief that Fioricet-one of the drugs Defendants allegedly distributed through RXL-was not a controlled substance. (Id. at 7.) This Court previously held as a matter of law that Fioricet is a controlled substance under the CSA. United States v. Oz, No. 13-cr-00273 (SRN/JJK), 2016 WL 1183041, at *3-5 (D. Minn. Mar. 28, 2016).

         Defendants concede that the Government “is not required to prove a defendant's specific intent to violate the law.” (Defs.' Mem. in Opp. at 1 [Doc. No. 726].) However, Defendants argue that the intent to defraud or mislead is the “gravamen of all these charges” and thus they should be allowed to put on a good faith defense-that is, present evidence that they lacked the required knowledge or intent to defraud because they acted with good intentions. (Id.) Additionally, Defendants contend that the Government must prove that they knew Fioricet was a controlled substance and thus Defendants should be allowed to present evidence that they did not believe that the drug was controlled. (See id. at 6.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         Ignorance of-or a mistaken understanding about-the law is not a defense to criminal prosecution. Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192, 199 (1991). The FDCA, CSA, and mail and wire fraud statutes do not require that the Government prove that Defendants knew of-or intended to violate-those laws when they engaged in their allegedly offending behavior. See United States v. Carlson, 810 F.3d 544, 554 (8th Cir. 2016), cert. denied sub nom. Gellerman v. United States, 137 S.Ct. 102 (2016), and cert. denied,137 S.Ct. 291 (2016) (FDCA); United ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.