*RELEASE FROM USDOJ*
BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced that a criminal Complaint was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court charging Dr. Anthony Galea of Toronto, Canada in connection to the smuggling and distribution of HGH.
The Complaint charges Galea with making false statements to federal officials, smuggling, unlawful distribution of human growth hormone (HGH), introducing an unapproved drug (actovegin) into interstate commerce, and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
The smuggling charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, while the false statement, HGH and conspiracy charges carry maximum prison terms of 5 years. Maximum fines for all the offenses are $250,000 for each count of conviction.
Officials say the Complaint was based upon an ongoing investigation by Special Agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the FBI, and the FDA.
The supporting Affidavit alleges that Galea, who is not a U.S. citizen and who is not authorized to work in the U.S., repeatedly entered the United States from 2007 to September 2009 in order to treat numerous professional athletes in the country.
Various athletes treated are said to be from Major League Baseball, the NFL and the PGA. It is alleged that Dr. Galea's billings to three athletes from the NFL alone amounted to approximately $200,000.
Dr. Galea said in a statement through his lawyer, "The announcement today that a complaint has been filed in the United States District Court of the Western District of New York is obviously disappointing. It is regrettable that Dr. Galea, a world renowned and respected sports medicine physician now faces these further charges. However, as this matter is now before the court, it is not proper to comment further. Dr. Galea looks forward to the opportunity to respond to these allegations at the appropriate time."