FedEx Corporation, the American global courier delivery services company headquartered in Memphis, TN, was indicted by a federal grand jury in California on Thursday, July 17, 2014, on charges of shipping drugs for illegal online pharmacies.
Charges of money laundering were also added to the case on August 15. These allegations come as a response to the deaths of several recipients of prescription drugs bought from illegal online pharmacies and shipped by FedEx.
Illegal Online Pharmacies Crackdown
With so many illegal pharmacies operating online, this makes it difficult for legitimate online pharmacies to run their business or even maintain a merchant account without running into trouble or investigation.
In response to the allegations, FedEx declared in a statement that they plan to fight the charges and plead not guilty.
“The government is suggesting that FedEx assume criminal responsibility for the legality of contents of the millions of packages we pick up and deliver every day,” said FedEx senior vice president Patrick Fitzgerald. “We are a transportation company – we are not law enforcement. We have no interest in violating the privacy of our customers.”
UPS Pays Settlement, FedEx Fights against Charges
“We will plead not guilty,” said Fitzgerald. “We will continue to defend against this attack on the integrity of FedEx.”
The more recent money laundering charges result from further investigation into the case and allege that FedEx received payment from online pharmacies with money that was obtained illegally.
FedEx faces a total of 15 conspiracy and drug charges and could be fined $1.6 billion if found guilty. Charges include the shipping from illegal online pharmacies of the following prescription drugs:
- Powerful sleep aids
- Other drugs requiring prescriptions
The Business of Online Pharmacies
- Pricing: 50% to 80% less expensive than American pharmacies
- Convenience of shipment
- Cannot afford to pay prescriptions without insurance
For individuals that do not have medical insurance to cover the cost of their prescriptions or for senior citizens on fixed incomes, online pharmacies that sell prescriptions at a discount can be a lifesaver, literally.
Online pharmacies that operate legally, demand prescriptions in order to sell medications and help millions of people get the prescription drugs they need. However, there are unfortunately many illegal online pharmacies that can tarnish the reputation of all – and make it very difficult for legitimate online pharmacies to accept credit cards online. Without the ability to accept credit cards, an eCommerce store has a very difficult time serving its customers.
The Danger of Online Pharmacies
Although online pharmacies can be a viable option for those who cannot afford to pay full price for prescription drugs, many illegal and fake online pharmacies capitalize on this need for inexpensive drugs.
Regulated and licensed online pharmacies require written prescriptions, however; through the anonymity of the internet, people can easily acquire drugs without a prescription through illegal pharmacies online.
Easy Pay Direct
Specializing in high-risk merchant accounts, Easy Pay Direct is familiar with how certain fraudulent and illegal companies use the internet to sell and distribute products illegally, including prescription drugs. Easy Pay Direct is also very familiar with how to setup and maintain merchant accounts for legitimate online pharmacies.
Setting up online pharmacy merchant accounts can be frustrating. Many merchant account providers claim to have experience in this space, but very few are able to setup and maintain accounts for the long term. A thorough understanding of the legitimate online pharmacy model as well as the common tricks illegal pharmacies employ is a good foundation for your merchant account partner. Whether processing in the US or offshore, Easy Pay Direct can make things easier.
Easy Pay Direct is fully PCI compliant and secured by McAfee. We keep your accounts secure and simple so you can your business, and you don’t have to worry about security.
Elias, Paul. “Money Laundering Charge Added to FedEx Drug Case.” The Associated Press.
Risher, Wayne. “U.S. indicts FedEx for online drug shipments.” The Commercial Appeal.
“The Truth About Legitimate Online Pharmacies.” RxRights.org