Calif. Family Indicted for Selling Counterfeit Penis Pills

Rhett Pardon

FRESNO, Calif. — A California family was indicted Tuesday by federal prosecutors for selling counterfeit penis pills marked as the brands Viagra, Levitra and Cialis.

Los Angeles residents John Gitmed, daughter Felicia Gitmed and nephew Anthony Pollino Jr., along with Gitmed’s ex-wife, Holly Gitmed of Riverbank, Calif., were indicted on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic counterfeit goods, mail fraud and conspiracy.

According to the criminal indictment, between February 2012 and 2014, the family operated a business called California Confidence Co. that sold “genuine” doses of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra online, typically on Craigslist.

The indictment alleged that the Gitmed family took photos of the real penis pills and their containers and sent the images to a manufacturer in China, asking that the labeling and pill imprints be duplicated.

Prosecutors said that whatever bogus brand they sold, customers received a dose of the active ingredient in Viagra.

The Gitmed family would oftentimes sell a dozen pills for between $100 and $200, depending on the dose and brand.

Authorities learned of the bogus penis pill operation after the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol intercepted a shipment in Los Angeles.

If convicted, each Gitmed family member faces up to 10 years in prison and a $2 million fine.

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