The DOJ just announced that Paul Andrecola, a New Jersey business owner, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for selling $2.7 million worth of unregistered pesticides. Andrecola was previously charged with one count of knowingly distributing or selling an unregistered pesticide in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), one count of wire fraud, and one count of presenting false claims to the United States.
According to the Government, from approximately March 2020 through May 2021, Andrecola fraudulently misrepresented that his brand of various disinfectant products was able to disinfect against, and kill, SARS-CoV-2. Andrecola marketed GCLEAN products as being registered with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and on its “List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2” during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Per FIFRA’s guidelines, all pesticides must be registered with the EPA before sale and distribution. Furthermore, the EPA must review and authorize pesticides before they can be marketed as effective against pathogens.
Andrecola and his team falsified EPA documents to make it appear as if GCLEAN was properly registered and authorized as effective against SARS-CoV-2. In turn, they sold more than 150 unregistered pesticides to unknowing purchasers, including a fire department, police department, and U.S. government agencies. U.S. District Court Judge Robert B. Kugler sentenced Andrecola to 5 years in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and forfeiture of $2.74 million. According to Special Agent in Charge Tyler Amon of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division in New Jersey, Andrecola’s sentence “holds the defendant accountable for perpetrating the largest pandemic fraud case related to the sale of unregistered pesticides charged nationwide.”
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection to fraud and government investigations. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.