In 2015, 11 people were indicted on charges for selling fake 5-Hour Energy drinks in California according to Associated Press. Now, one of the primary defendants, Walid Jamil, has been sentenced to 7 years in prison. His sentence is in addition to a $10 million civil judgment and $555,801.31 in criminal restitution to be paid to the makers of genuine 5-Hour Energy, FoodNavigator-USA reported.
The scheme began when Jamil, along with other defendants Joseph and Adriana Shayota, relabeled and repackaged more than 350,000 bottles of the energy drink licensed for sale in Mexico (where the product wholesales at a lower price) and sold them in the United States for a price lower than that offered by the manufacturer, according to The San Jose Mercury News. When the product ran out, the defendants created counterfeit energy drinks and packaged them as 5-Hour Energy.
“I am gratified not only as 5-Hour Energy’s lawyer, but also as a consumer and as a parent,” Geoffrey Potter, lead counsel for 5-Hour Energy in the case, said. “All counterfeiting is theft, but counterfeiting something that we eat is an especially horrific crime. I want those in the future that might consider foisting these types of counterfeits on Americans to know that the penalty will be very harsh.”