Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Tuesday that a judge ruled in favor of the city by ordering the closure of four unlicensed pharmacies and issuing a permanent injunction against a family accused of selling upwards of 14,000 counterfeit and misbranded pharmaceuticals over the course of 16 years.
“We took action to shut down these stores because counterfeit and misbranded meds can be deadly,” Feuer said. “My office will continue working to hold fake pharmacists to account. Our residents’ health is on the line.”
The City Attorney’s Office said the defendants in People v. Dominguez operated four unlicensed pharmacies, three in the city of Los Angeles and one in South Gate.
The suit — five members of the “Dominguez family,” a family trust and a security guard were named as defendants — alleged that multiple investigations over the years by the Los Angeles County’s Health Authority Law Enforcement Task Force and private investigators revealed the defendants and their agents sold thousands of counterfeit and misbranded pharmaceuticals, including anti-seizure and blood pressure medicine, injectable birth control and steroids.
They were also found to have stored thousands of illegal pharmaceuticals in the family home in Montebello, which is owned by their trust and supported by the illegal proceeds of their pharmaceutical ring, the City Attorney’s Office alleged.
Three of the businesses, located in the Westlake area of the city, have been shuttered: A&L (or Opcion Natural or Excellent Nutrition) at 1826 James M. Wood Blvd., New Life Naturals at 708 Hartford Ave. and Better Naturals at 730 S. Alvarado St., along with Los Tres Toros at 12101 Garfield Ave. in South Gate, according to Feuer’s office.
It’s the first case in which the city attorney has had a businesses closed through legal action outside of Los Angeles, according to Feuer’s office.
In 2010, the “senior member” of the Dominguez family was convicted of selling illegal pharmaceuticals from 1826 James M. Wood Blvd., where a mother and son were hospitalized after receiving injections, according to Feuer. Despite the conviction, the store continued operating and administering illegal injections by defendants who were not licensed to do so, he said.
In addition to a 10-year injunction and $105,455 in court-ordered penalties, the defendants are prohibited from possessing illegal, misbranded or counterfeit drugs, treating or diagnosing people and administering injections, and they cannot work for any business in California related to the manufacture, sale, or storage of commonly counterfeited goods, Feuer said.
The City Attorney’s Office website has a list of 25 free and low-cost health clinics at www.lacityattorney.org/health-clinics.