A 69-year-old Charlotte woman pleaded guilty in federal court to selling bogus COVID-19 cures for humans on her online pet health store, according to the Department of Justice.
Prosecutors said the Food and Drug Administration sent two warning letters to Diana Daffin telling her to stop selling the product, brand-named HAMPL, on her Holistic Healthy Pet website.
"In February 2021, Daffin sold an undercover law enforcement officer a HAMPL product that she advertised as a drug that could cure, mitigate, treat, and prevent COVID-19 in humans," according to the DOJ.
She shipped the fake drugs to the undercover agent in New Hampshire, according to prosecutors. Federal agents arrested Daffin at her home near Charlotte in May 2021.
"In an email leading up to the sale, Daffin told the undercover officer, 'This stuff does work for covid, but fda shut it down,'" prosecutors said in a news release.
Court records show a lengthy email conversation between Daffin and an undercover agent with the FDA.
The label on the unregulated drug said it gives “a stronger immunity against CV” and “Immunity for Humans," according to court records.
The emails show Daffin giving the agent, who goes by "Bill," a password to get into a section of her site where she sold unregulated drugs. The products include many from the Australian company HAMPL, which have all since been recalled by the Australian government.
"Any coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding such products are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. You must immediately cease making all such claims," the FDA said in one of several warning letters to HAMPL.
Daffin pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of probation and no prison time, according to the plea agreement filed in New Hampshire federal court. She is set to be sentenced in the federal court Nov. 2.