A 54-year-old Destrehan woman accused of selling illegal drugs disguised as diet pills over a six-year period was convicted Tuesday night by a Baton Rouge federal court jury, U.S. Attorney Walt Green said Wednesday.
Darlene V. Krueger was found guilty on three counts each of distributing a controlled substance and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
She sold the pills to customers throughout Louisiana and profited to the tune of about $100,000, reported Green, who said Krueger appeared driven purely by greed.
Krueger schemed to sell purportedly “all natural” dietary supplements that she knew contained sibutramine, which was the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Meridia — a prescription weight loss drug removed from the market in 2010 after studies showed significantly increased risk of strokes and heart attacks, he said.
Krueger continued to distribute the diet pills and disseminate false and misleading information about the safety and efficacy of her products, even after learning the pills contained sibutramine and had potentially serious side effects, Green said.
The pills were sold under names such as “Slim Fort Double Power Slimming Capsules” and “Slim-Vie Double Power Slimming Capsules.”
U.S. District Judge John deGravelles did not set a sentencing date for Krueger.
A Florida man indicted with Krueger pleaded guilty last summer to illegally importing the diet pills from China-based manufacturers and giving them to distributors, including Krueger, and consumers. John Wesley Hoag, 52, has not been sentenced.
Krueger and Hoag both face significant prison time, fines, restitution and forfeiture of proceeds.