Yesterday, we reported that the $500 million Google forfeited last year as the result of a settlement with the Justice Department in relation to ads for Canadian pharmacies, would be divided up among the law enforcement agencies involved in the large investigation, as DoJ attorney Peter Neronha (pictured) would hold a press conference in Providence.
The Justice Department announced that $230 million would be divided among Rhode Island-specific agencies. $100 would go to Federal agencies and $170 million would go to the DoJ’s own Assets Forfeiture Fund. Search Engine Land provides the exact breakdown:
East Providence PD: $60 million (12%)
North Providence PD: $60 million (12%)
RI Attorney General: $60 million (12%)
RI State Police: $45 million (9%)
RI National Guard: $5 million (1%)
US Postal Service: $40 million (8%)
IRS: $35 million (7%)
US Secret Service: $15 million (3%)
ICE: $10 million (2%)
“The result of this investigation has been a fundamental transformation of Internet pharmacy advertising practices, significantly limiting promotion to US consumers by rogue online pharmacies,” said Martin-Weis, acting director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, in the initial DoJ announcement of the settlement. “This accomplishment could not have been possible without the resourceful commitment of the Rhode Island United States Attorney’s Office, as well as the tireless efforts of our law enforcement partners detailed to the OCI Rhode Island Task Force.”
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew J. Reich and Richard B. Myrus of the District of Rhode Island, and FDA/OCI Special Agent Jason Simonian led the investigation. As the DoJ discussed in the announcement, the FDA/OCI Rhode Island Task Force is comprised of law enforcement agents and officers from FDA/OCI, the IRS, Immigration and Customs, the Postal Inspection Service, the Rhode Island State Police, the Rhode Island National Guard, the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General;, the East Providence Police, and the North Providence Police.
There was also assistance from Corbin A. Weiss, Senior Counsel with the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section, and Sarah Hawkins, FDA Senior Counsel.
The investigation involved the tracking of a fugitive to Mexico. He had advertised the unlawful sale of drugs through Google’s AdWords.