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Money launderer jailed after selling dud sex pills online
“A MONEY launderer has been jailed for nearly three years for running a £442,000 illegal sex performance pills hustle.
Lee Tomlinson, 35, sold contraband erectile dysfunction meds online, including one drug found in Viagra.”
With wild names like “Rhino 69,” “Black Mamba,” and “Mojo Nights,” so-called “natural” sexual enhancement supplements are a fixture behind the counters of bodegas, gas stations, corner stores, and delis across the country. They’re also at the center of a nationwide legal battle being waged by a Texas supplements company called Outlaw Laboratory.
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these are the rattle pills that our Rhino 200k pills Black Mamba premium the Black Panther a rock-solid erection no prescription necessary 100% natural herb sexual enhancement supplements you’ve probably seen them behind counters of bodegas gas stations and liquor stores if I take this one castle I can have a boner for seven days if you assume these pills were snake oil you might be in for a surprise this shit is effective the secret ingredients that make some of these pills actually work are just one problem with America’s largely unregulated multi-billion dollar erectile dysfunction dietary supplement industry in this case mislabeled sex pills have spurred public health concerns and an alleged conspiracy to defraud small businesses vice news took a hard look at a nationwide legal battle over dick pills in early 2019 Brooklyn bodega manager Mook Bell ashabi received a mysterious letter with photos of his corner store that’s the fondest thought this one they’re probably the kid inside the letter alleged that shabby was selling a sexual enhancement pill called Rhino 8 that contained an illicit product and if he didn’t pay nearly $10,000 he’d face a costly court battle but the notice wasn’t from the government rather it was from a dietary supplement company in Texas called outlaw laboratory so it sells a variety of vitamins and bodybuilding products online companies saying I’m doing damage to them there’s one small business in New York don’t damage to them we got ourselves shabih started asking around and realized outlaws actions weren’t limited to his store or even just New York similar demand letters were sent out in at least 12 states and outlawed targeted hundreds of retailers with lawsuits in federal courts across the country store owners on the receiving end of this litigation were not happy if you I think what they’re doing is criminal ever heard the phrase litigation extortion it’s very deceptive basically cheap the shakedown shake some bullshit shakedown lawsuit I don’t even know how many letters these lawyers sent out but I would not be surprised to fit numbered in the thousands my understanding is Robert aller is the mastermind he’s the one who came up with the suit whenever you are called us come back there is a presumption that you are we have every right to file this lawsuit and I think everyone will be better off for it Robert Towler specializes in dietary supplement litigation for the past year and a half he’s been filing sexual enhancement related cases on behalf of outlaw laboratory these are some of the examples that we’ve been able to obtain as part of our investigation you have images of females apparently in the middle of or orgasm a lot of animal teams I remember seeing these products and liquor stores kind of didn’t think anything about it but in reality it’s a national criminal conspiracy taking place in front of everyone’s face turns out it’s not some ancient herbal secret that makes some of these pills effective but instead the power of modern pharmacology there’s basically a black market of people miss labeling pharmaceuticals namely sildenafil the active ingredient viagra and tadalafil the active ingredients a house labeling them as natural supplements ask your doctor ask your doctor ask your doctor about viagra drugs like viagra and cialis aren’t available over-the-counter in the United States the Justice Department has prosecuted people for importing large quantities of erectile dysfunction drugs with the intent of repackaging them as dietary supplements which can be sold without a prescription drugs are regulated by the FDA there is no process like that for supplements so people can easily lie label something a supplement and sell it until they’re caught you can’t boys trust a product that claims to be safe or all-natural even if the FDA discovers that a supplement might contain drugs the product will often stay on shelves the agency will however post a public health notice on its website these have included over 250 warnings about sexual enhancement supplements Towler has used these consumer notices as the basis for his legal action but in these cases he’s not acting on behalf of victims injured by tainted supplements instead his claims are about false advertising and the money goes to his client outlaw laboratory here’s how Tyler’s legal strategy works outlaw sells what they say is a truly all-natural sexual enhancement supplement it’s called tri steal outlaw says that other dick pills that claim to be unnatural but secretly contain drugs have taken sales from Tri steel now outlaw is demanding payment for its alleged loss of sales but here’s the reason so many people are mad at Towler and outlaw rather than going after manufacturers of tainted pills they largely target small businesses who sold them why not go after the distributors we’ve probably sued five or six distributors that we’ve been able to trace because they’re involved in criminal conduct there are a lot harder to find and if we’re ever going to approach some of the bigger players in the industry we’re going to have to start with those people we can find those people that we can definitely hold accountable and those are brick-and-mortar retailers Towler’s arguments raised a question our retailers also advertisers of every product they display on their shelves and therefore fair targets of false advertising claims [Music] some retailers like roy mica worried that if Tyler gets a court to accept outlaws argument it will open the door – copycat lawsuits that could target many mainstream products outside the world of dick pills if the court size a lock company you’re gonna see a lot of this business closing down because we have no control of what do you have inside this package as an example of the candy we don’t know what they put on this product mark posed San Francisco law firm heard about outlaws legal actions and offered to defend a group of 28 stores for free from my understanding if there’s anything that you’re not supposed to have usually they send you alert from like FDA saying you’re not allowed to sell this products like a recall a recall right and out like is that’s a company you’ve never heard of before no they just send us a lot saying okay you can settle or we will take you to court I hesitate only slightly to use the word scam but I’ll use it the scam kind of runs in two phases first they send out the demand letter if the recipients of the demand letter don’t cough up the couple of grand then outlaw tends to sue them and then it goes through another round of extorting settlements and if they are settling these for between two thousand and five thousand dollars and they’ve settled hundreds I suspect it’s probably over a thousand you know we’re talking millions of dollars that have been pinched out of these stores a couple grand at a time all of our clients they’re immigrants English is not their first language and so you can imagine that particularly for that community when they receive a demand letter from a Los Angeles law firm threatening the ruin of their business unless they cuff up a couple of grand unfortunately most of them have coughed up with a couple of grand I don’t know what that guy’s smoking but I find it really offensive when other lawyers believe that I am attacking immigrants I’m the child of immigrants myself and it’s not like I’m going through oh let’s find all the immigrants and let’s just sue the immigrants sometimes I even tell some defendants counsel that I’m talking to they should be thanking us because someone else could get injured from these and in which case their liability would be much greater of course you don’t see it that way when you’re sued for a court to consider outlaws claims that stores are participating in false advertising it would need to accept outlaws assertion that these stores are selling mislabeled pharmaceuticals but it turns out that proving this isn’t easy it’s not like there’s a single company making all of these dick pills and filling them with drugs what actually happens is that the empty packaging for many of the most common sexual enhancement supplements gets purchased online from China then the packages get filled by an unknown number of entities finally if the pills show up in stores around the country and until recently on Amazon and Walmart’s website to show how easy it is to get into the dick pill business we ordered a sample of empty Rhino packaging from Alibaba now if we wanted to we could fill them with oregano or pop rocks or dirt we could also fill the pills with natural herbal supplements as the labels advertise or pharmaceuticals both of which are sold on Alibaba we also bought prefilled pills from two different New York corner stores the packaging on these products was exactly the same but when we opened the pills it was evident there was inconsistency between the contents colours and textures to know for sure what’s in any sexual enhancement product you’d have to test it but Towler and allied don’t test samples from every store they pursue with legal action instead outlaw largely relies on photos taken by their own investigators to show that a store carried boner pills in packaging in which the FDA at one point found drugs I don’t think there’s a need to test every single product from every single store because that would be prohibitive we have to rely on what the FDA has done but the FDA’s own testing shows that not every sample of products they warned about actually contained drugs in fact when the FDA tested two batches of Rhino 7 a supplement on its warning list the agency found no pharmaceuticals in half of the samples so it’s entirely possible that some stores why is suing never even sold tainted pills while some judges have allowed outlaws claims to proceed the company has also suffered some setbacks in five cases judges granted stores motions to dismiss outlaws claims and one judge even said outlaw appeared to be shaking down mom-and-pop stores but outlawed doesn’t have to win a trial to make money all the company needs is a consistent stream of settlements from stores that want to avoid the hassle and expense of court in outlaw is still filing suits against stores as recently as June 2019 who is outlaw who runs it it’s two partners and I don’t know how many employees they have but they have several manufacturing entities and supplement entities they actually have a very good big following online other than that to be honest with you I don’t know too much about them here are some things we do know about outlaw laboratory the company is owned by Texas entrepreneurs Sean Lynch and Michael where the pair once co-owned another company called TF supplements that Lynch founded and we’re joined in 2016 TF supplements had its own history of legal problems with product safety it’s a popular supplement that’s supposed to build muscle I was just trying to get babe Stephenson tells us his eyes were turning yellow and he constantly suffered from fatigue the supplements were marketed on the internet by a company in Galveston called TF supplements at one point TF supplements settled the lawsuit for selling a product that caused a bunch of people liver damage right thank you Jeff is a retailer so they they carry products from different people that and in this particular case similar to the retailer’s correct that are a corner store that they’re correct suing legal action against now correct in court filings TF denied wrongdoing in the liver damage case but this wasn’t their only questionable product TF appears to have sold the same kinds of sexual enhancement products that his owners are now suing other retailers for carrying sometimes these products were listed as in on the TF website for almost a year after the FDA warnings were issued during this time in the fall of 2016 TF school owners lodged outlaw laboratory their own line of supplements which brings us finally to try steel outlaws own sexual enhancement supplement tri steel is a natural male enhancement product I know that their product is sold in all 50 states and that’s pretty much it it’s told in brick-and-mortar stores in all 50 states I don’t think it’s sold in breaking mortar stores stores at all I’m not sure that it is in filings outlaw said they started selling tri steel in October 2016 but they’ve given contradictory statements on where it was available at some points they said try steel was sold in retail stores but in different court documents outlets that the pills were only available through their website the first record we could find of tri Steel’s existence online was from October 2017 two months prior to this the company was collecting evidence against stores in California and two months after tri steel appeared on Google a law was sending demand letters saying stores could be held liable for four years worth of damages so to recap as far as we can tell outlaw started preparing for legal actions against retailers before try steel was even available online just months later the company started demanding money the outlaw cases weren’t Tyler’s first sexual enhancement lawsuits previously he used a similar legal strategy on behalf of a product called powerful desire that supplement was made by a company that came into existence just over a month before it started filing suits against adult novelty stores selling dick pills a fact that led defendants to allege in court that the company was formed for the purpose of filing lawsuits Towler eventually stopped filing claims on behalf of powerful desire and started working for outlaw laboratory which had launched over a year earlier neither outlaw nor powerful desires owners responded to questions about how quickly they started filing suits after their own products became available Towler did say that outlaws owners knew the producers of powerful desire and that Allah had taken over powerful desires legal claims using their product try steel we suspect outlaws try steal product was created for the sole purpose of fostering this litigation against against the stores in an email Tyler said pose allegation was demonstrably false but he didn’t provide documentation showing that try steel was sold before outlaw began investigating stores poe isn’t just defending his clients he’s made outlaws a defendant in a counter suit on behalf of stores targeted by outlaw and the judge in the case that he found pose argument that outlaw could be extorting stores convincing enough to proceed poe is now arguing that any store who received a similar demand letter from out lot should be represented in the suit we concluded outlaw laboratories was in fact violating the federal statute the RICO statute engaging basically in a scheme of mail firm neither of Outlaws owners agreed to appear for an interview citing concerns for their safety in an email an outlaw representative said its owners had sold TF supplements calm in 2018 and would not comment on their marketing and sales strategies for tri steel or how much they’d made from settlements they also described the store owners outlaw is suing as criminals who don’t care about public safety if their real goal is to prevent the sale of these products to protect the public health they’re going about it in the least effective but mind you the most profitable way is outlaw paying you hourly or do you get a percentage of of settlements I can’t answer that okay that’s a privilege so you can’t say if the more settlements you get the more you’re paid correct while Towler is the lawyer listed on Outlawz initial federal lawsuits over time the company has worked with different firms across the country in the case of shabby store in New York the demand letter came from a firm called Josh P Mooney pop psych in an email Tyler said he wasn’t involved with outlaws legal activities in New York but the return address on the demand letter sent to shabby store in Brooklyn was taller firm in Los Angeles Josh P Mooney politic didn’t respond to a request for comment and in an email taller said it was news to him that his firm appeared on the envelope what do you want to say to the people who are bringing this against you is wrong trailer office while poe is defending the San Diego stores for free if he wins the class-action suit against outlaw his firm would receive 20% of the settlement could you get very very rich if this goes your way no just because if we get a huge judgment against outlook they’re gonna disappear claim bankruptcy they are likely to get away with it at least to the extent they’ve gotten away with it thus far our goal is just to put a stop to it you