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Judge seizes assets of online pharmacy

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The courts took over the assets on Friday of a Burnsville-based online pharmacy that allegedly sold up to $18 million worth of drugs over the Internet and allegedly mislabeled some drugs it sent to patients.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis granted prosecutors' request to shut down several online pharmacies related to Xpress Pharmacy Direct, according to court documents signed Friday.

Prosecutors alleged in court documents that the company mislabeled, mispackaged and repackaged prescription drugs. It also overcharged consumers and dispensed drugs, including painkillers -- including narcotics -- without valid prescriptions, according to federal prosecutors.

No one has been charged with a crime.

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Davis also froze the assets of several top ranking employees of the company, including owner and operator Christopher Smith, 25, who is listed as one of the world's 200 worst spammers, according to the spam-tracking service Spamhaus. America Online and Time Warner Cable have both gone to court in recent years to stop Smith's other alleged spamming activities.

One of Smith's attorneys, Bill Michael, disputed the government's allegations.

An affidavit by FBI Agent George Kyrilis said Smith's business filled thousands of orders for narcotics such as the pain reliever hydrocodone and other drugs without valid prescriptions, instead paying a New Jersey doctor $7 per prescription to sign more than 22,000 orders for drugs in one four-month period.

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