An Orlando man charged with smuggling human-growth hormones for a local pharmacy once tagged as an illicit supplier of performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes on Monday was sentenced to three years’ probation and to community service in federal court.
Victor Martin Effron, owner of Orlando-based First KJM Corp., already has forfeited $5 million, said Jim Miller, spokesman for the Rhode Island district of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Effron also will serve 250 hours of community service.
Effron pleaded guilty last year in Rhode Island federal court to charges of conspiracy to facilitate the sale of smuggled goods; smuggling human growth hormone into the U.S.; distribution of human growth hormone; and money laundering.
His plea agreement is sealed, so details of his admissions are not yet public. But public court documents filed in June tie him to Signature Compounding Pharmacy, which was linked to professional football and baseball players and to professional wrestlers.
Signature and its executives came under the national spotlight in 2007, after the pharmacy was raided and after its executives were arrested by authorities in New York. A judge later threw out the charges.
However, Rhode Island federal prosecutors said Effron, acting on behalf of Signature Pharmacy, from 2004 to 2007 negotiated and facilitated illegal importation of more than 160 grams of human-growth hormone manufactured in China.
Effron and Signature Pharmacy took steps to conceal the origin of the drug somatropin because they knew the drug was on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s seizure list and that it was not an approved drug, court documents said.
Signature Pharmacy contracted with Effron to facilitate the smuggling, records show. It also directed Effron to negotiate the orders, make payments on the pharmacy’s behalf, and, on some occasions, accept shipment of the drug on Signature’s behalf.