Mexican Steroid Pharmacy Costs Google Half Billion Dollars

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    Mexican Steroid Pharmacy Costs Google Half Billion Dollars

    Mexican Steroid Pharmacy Costs Google Half Billion Dollars
    By Millard Baker ~ source

    Google executives knowingly allowed a Mexican pharmacy to advertise anabolic steroids and other bodybuilding drugs to customers in the United States according to the government informant used to set up the bust. Federal prosecutors alleged that this was the case of a corporate entity, and not merely a couple of rogue customer service employees, making the decision to promote illegal pharmacies. Google paid a $500,000,000 forfeiture, the largest in history, when they entered into a nonprosecution agreement with the government.

    Anabolic steroids played a major role in the government’s case against Google. Federal investigators used a convicted con artist, who had previously created a steroid pharmacy website based in Mexico, to help them bring down Google.

    The con artist who helped the feds was named David Whitaker. Whitaker had operated a website that sold iPods and other consumer electronics below market-value. He collected millions of dollars from customers, never shipped the merchandise and fled to Mexico where he set up a steroid pharmacy catering to bodybuilders in 2006.

    Whitaker was arrested in Mexico and extradited to the United States in 2008. He was indicted on charges of wire fraud, conspiracy and commercial bribery in the iPod case and faced up to 65-years in prison. That was when Whitaker made his final big sales pitch when he told the government how he used Google’s AdSense to sell anabolic steroids and human growth hormone to customers in the United States. He told the government that Google helped him sell steroids to U.S. customers without a prescription and that they were shipped from Mexico. And he could prove it.

    The government used Whitaker to pose as the agent behind the Mexican-based steroid pharmacies SportsDrugs.net and NotGrowingOldEasy.com. SportsDrugs.net was set up to look “as if a Mexican drug lord had built a website to sell HGH and steroids” according to Whitaker.

    Google initially rejected the advertisements submitted to the Adsense program. However, Whitaker found a way to bypass the automatic verification system and talk to Google ad executives on the phone. Google executives worked closely with Whitaker to bypass the internal verification system and start promoting the steroid pharmacies. The steroid pharmacies initially only allowed customers to order steroids by submitting a form but eventually included direct links to purchase product.

    The government collected over four million pages of internal emails, documents and witness testimony in their case against Google. The evidence included dozens of recorded phone calls and emails correspondences between Whitaker and Google in which the illegal activity was described in some detail.

    Google was aware that U.S. customs had often seized steroid shipments shipped from Mexico and that the owner of one steroid pharmacy dreamed of becoming “the biggest steroid dealer in the United States.” Even the Google co-founder and future Chief Executive Officer was aware of the steroid business.

    “We simply know from the documents we reviewed and witnesses we interviewed that Larry Page knew what was going on,” according to Peter Neronja, the United States Attorney District of Rhode Island, who was responsible for the investigation.

    Nonetheless, Google may not have actually violated the law. While Google acknowledged they played a role in advertising illegal pharmacies, it should be noted that Google did not plead guilty. The $500,000,000 penalty was not considered a criminal fine or civil monetary penalty. Instead, it was classified as a forfeiture.

    Google had no involvement whatsoever in the actual introduction or delivery of pharmaceuticals into the United States. But the government still accused Google of being an accomplice to the crime by allowing steroid pharmacies to advertise on Adsense. The government believed that Google’s role was similar to that of companies that actually shipped illegal drugs.

    Such a position on accomplice liability by the government clearly could have been open to challenge if the case ended up in court. However, a settlement was likely the best arrangement for both parties. Google could avoid a highly embarrassing expose of their internal operations in court and the government could avoid scrutiny on their position on accomplice liability while collecting a nice half-billion dollar forfeiture for their efforts.

    Meanwhile, Whitaker escaped a potential 65-years in prison and was sentenced to 6 years for his extraordinary cooperation in the case.
    Last edited by Curt James; 02-01-2012 at 08:28 PM.





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    Crime don't pay !

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    Since when is 500k a "half billion"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Eagle View Post
    Since when is 500k a "half billion"?
    lol, I did not write it but I just edited that.





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    So, the Feds press them and extort $500K.....Go figure.
    It's an accurate statement that our current spending will not be increasing the debt We've stopped spending money that we don't have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince View Post
    lol, I did not write it but I just edited that.
    I didn't think you did Haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Smoothy View Post
    So, the Feds press them and extort $500K.....Go figure.
    that is what our government does, extort money.





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    6 vs 65 have a safe life witaker, bet those google lawyers worked overtime for loops

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    great, now google adsense is going to be even more of a fucking nazi.. i couldn't even use the word "smoke" or "high" in the description to the link. fml.

    best shit money can buy! ^^

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    funny how corporations get away with things that the individual would get arrested and prosecuted for. this is how the US "free market" system works, what a fucking joke..
    William F. Buckley describes a conservative as, "someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop." - and then proceeds to drag civilization back to times best left in history's dungheap.

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    Google adsense is controlled by the government and so is the results from Google.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecot3c inside View Post
    great, now google adsense is going to be even more of a fucking nazi.. i couldn't even use the word "smoke" or "high" in the description to the link. fml.
    This is my signature. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

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    Proof that the drug war is all about money. If the Feds had actually thought this was morally wrong and harmful to people they would have sought punishment for people involved, but knowing it's all a witch hunt they settled for the easy dough...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Eagle View Post
    Since when is 500k a "half billion"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince View Post
    lol, I did not write it but I just edited that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Smoothy View Post
    So, the Feds press them and extort $500K.....Go figure.
    Believe Millard missed some zeros.



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    I dont see how google did anything wrong.

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