A Parkland man has been charged by federal authorities with selling testing kits for HIV and hepatitis C without getting them approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Jonathan Barash, 45, who ran Coral Springs-based AT First Diagnostics LLC, bought the testing kits from China, repackaged them in his company’s boxes and then sold the products over the Internet, according to federal prosecutors.
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“Just imagine ‘the peace of mind’ that comes with knowing your health results are almost instant. In the privacy of your home, school or work environment!” the AT First Diagnostic website touted. The company offered 70 different testing kits to detect numerous diseases.
A Fort Lauderdale federal grand jury indicted Barash on Thursday on four counts of mail fraud and three counts of distribution of adulterated devices. Each of the fraud charges carries up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine.
Barash could not be reached for comment, despite attempts by phone. Officials of AT First Diagnostic could not be reached for comment, despite attempts by phone and email. State corporation records indicate the company was dissolved in September.
Barash last month formed another business, FirstVue Corp.; officials there could not be reached for comment despite attempts by phone.
Federal authorities allege Barash sent out the HIV and hepatitis testing kits in 2008, misrepresenting that they were registered with the FDA and that the kits had been manufactured in the United States.
In 2004, Barash reached a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission over false advertising involving two products — a purported weight-loss supplement for children and a supplement that allegedly enhanced a woman’s libido.
The FTC charged that there was no evidence to support claims made about Pedia Loss and Fabulously Feminine.
Barash admitted no wrongdoing in that deal, agreeing he would make no unsubstantiated claims about weight-loss or sexual-enhancement drugs. The order spelled out that he could make representations about drugs as long as they were FDA-approved.
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