Written by The Business Journal Staff
A man in Porterville has been arrested and indicted on federal charges of mail fraud and introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce with the intention to defraud.
According to the indictment, Huu Tieu, 58, marketed and sold a package of herbal mixtures dubbed the “Emergency D-Virus Plan of Care,” which he claimed treated Covid-19. In materials posted online, Tieu allegedly made a series of false statements about the Emergency D-Virus drugs, including fake approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Tieu, who is president and CEO of Golden Sunrise Pharmaceutical Inc. and Golden Sunrise Nutraceutical Inc., allegedly made these misrepresentations for the purpose of soliciting customers to acquire Golden Sunrise products. He could then submit reimbursement claims to the patients’ insurers, including Medicare and Medi-Cal. Tieu dispensed his products to customers in the Porterville area and also shipped the products to other parts of California and the United States.
In May, an undercover investigator with the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office met with Tieu in person, telling him her mother was 68 and sick with Covid-19. The investigator asked Tieu if she should take her to the hospital, and he reportedly encouraged her to use his products instead.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the California Department of Health Care Services with assistance from the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office and the California Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.
If convicted, Tieu faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the mail fraud counts and three years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the misbranding counts.