‘All-Natural’ Male Enhancement Supplement Contained Active Ingredient Found in Viagra
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Jacksonville, Fla., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a scheme with two Nixa, Mo., residents to market an all-natural male enhancement supplement that actually contained the same active ingredient found in Viagra.
Michael S. Schindele, 43, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of wire fraud and one count of delivering adulterated or misbranded food.
Schindele, the owner and operator of Executive Image International, operated a website that sold dietary supplements and drugs to the general public. He worked through businesses owned and operated by co-defendants John G. Schindele, 41 (his brother), and Jennifer S. Travis, 45, both of Nixa, Mo., to sell dietary supplements, which they claimed contained only all-natural ingredients. John Schindele and Travis both pleaded guilty, in separate but related cases, on Feb. 21, 2018.
Among the many supplements sold by Michael Schindele was Silver Bullet, marketed as an “all-natural male performance enhancer,” an “Extreme Male Stimulant,” and a “dietary supplement.” In reality, Silver Bullet contained materially different ingredients than what was listed, including sildenafil, a synthetic pharmaceutical ingredient that was not disclosed to consumers purchasing the product.
Sildenafil is the active pharmaceutical that is commonly used in the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. The labeling for Silver Bullet failed to provide adequate warnings about the use of a sildenafil-containing product, which is only legally available with a prescription from a doctor. Michael Schindele was not authorized or licensed to sell this pharmaceutical.
Silver Bullet was purchased and shipped from a supplier in the People’s Republic of China, then resold by Michael Schindele and others to consumers throughout the United States and worldwide.
Michael Schindele’s misrepresentations resulted in him, Executive Image International, Schindele Enterprises, and Midwest Wholesale obtaining money in the amount of at least $150,000 from consumers. Michael Schindele, personally, received at least $47,930, which must be forfeited to the government.
According to his plea agreement, John Schindele fraudulently received $210,000 for the misrepresented and mislabeled dietary supplements from April 16, 2012, to July 8, 2015. According to her plea agreement, Travis fraudulently received $152,862 for the misrepresented and mislabeled dietary supplements from June 2, 2014, through Jan. 31, 2017.
During the time of the fraud scheme, which operated from Oct. 11, 2011, through Jan. 6, 2014, Michael Schindele also pleaded guilty in a separate and unrelated case to the misdemeanor offense of introducing an unapproved animal drug. Schindele admitted that he sold heartworm tablets that were produced in Australia and had not been approved for sale in the United States, and which required a veterinarian’s prescription. Federal agents seized 1,368 doses of the heartworm tablets from Schindele’s EZBody store in Springfield. Schindele was sentenced on July 17, 2012, to one year of unsupervised probation.
Under federal statutes, Michael Schindele is subject to a sentence of up to 23 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nhan D. Nguyen and Patrick Carney. They were investigated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.