A supervisor at a Shirley-based pharmaceutical manufacturer has been indicted on allegations he stole more than $1 million in equine drugs and resold them to trainers and veterinarians at New York racetracks, including Belmont Park, endangering the health of several horses, officials said Thursday.
Gregory Settino, 58, of Bethpage, was arrested and arraigned Thursday on charges of theft of medical products and making a false statement to a federal agent via teleconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlene R. Lindsay, according to a news release from the Eastern District of New York.
Settino was released on a $250,000 bond.
Mineola-based defense attorney Anthony Grandinette, declined to comment, other than to say: “My client denies the allegations and looks forward to a favorable resolution on the merits.
According to federal prosecutors, Settino, the production supervisor of manufacturing at Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. — now renamed American Regent — allegedly stole thousands of bottles of the injectable equine drug Adequan between 2012 and January 2020. The stolen drugs were valued at more than $1 million, according to prosecutors, and Settino allegedly sold the drugs to horse trainers and veterinarians — who used them to treat horses for degenerative joint disease — for more than $600,000.
Prosecutors said Settino stored the drugs in shoe boxes in his car when he transported them — in violation of FDA supply chain rules. The Adequan label says the drug is supposed to be stored in temperatures from 68 degrees to 77 degrees in order to be most effective.
A representative from American Regent could not be reached for comment.
Prosecutors also alleged when Settino was interviewed by an FDA special agent on Jan. 23 he “falsely stated that he had stolen fewer than 100 bottles of Adequan from Luitpold and American Regent.”
“As alleged, Settino abused his supervisory position at a pharmaceuticals company to steal large quantities of equine drugs in order to enrich himself and without regard for how his sale of the medical products could potentially endanger the health of horses,” Acting United States Attorney Seth DuCharme said in the news release.
“The defendant then allegedly compounded his criminal conduct by lying to an FDA Special Agent to minimize the scope of his thefts. Thanks to the combined efforts of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FDA, this illicit pipeline of stolen drugs to vets and horse trainers has been shut down,” DuCharme said.
Jeffrey Ebersole, special agent in charge at the Food and Drug Administration, said in the news release: “The safety and effectiveness of veterinary drugs play a key role in maintaining the health of animals. When these drugs leave the legitimate supply chain, they can lose their effectiveness or become unsafe,” stated FDA-OCI Special Agent-in-Charge Ebersole.
In a detention letter from Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles P. Kelly arguing for a “significant” bail, the prosecutor said that Settino has “not accounted for the location of his $650,0000 earnings from those stolen goods and has repeatedly lied to federal agents.”