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United States v. Akinyoyenu

United States District Court, District of Columbia

August 3, 2016

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
TITILAYO AKINTOMIDE AKINYOYENU, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JAMES E. BOASBERG United States District Judge.

         Defendant Titilayo Akinyoyenu is a local pharmacist who also ran an online pharmacy. To obtain a prescription drug from him over the internet, customers would place an order and fill out a medical questionnaire. Defendant then paid doctors - including Co-Defendant Alan Saltzman - to review these questionnaires and issue prescriptions for the ordered drugs, thereby green-lighting the online pharmaceutical dealings. In 2015, a grand jury returned an Indictment charging Akinyoyenu and Saltzman with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances without valid prescriptions and to commit mail fraud by deceiving customers in the process.

         Akinyoyenu now asks the Court to dismiss the Indictment without prejudice on the basis that the grand jury did not hear the whole truth and, sometimes, even heard false testimony. As the Court does not see how the misstatements by the Government - if they are misstatements at all - substantially swayed the grand jury, it will deny Defendant’s Motion.

         I. Background

         The parties agree on the basic facts. Akinyoyenu sold drugs, many of which required prescriptions, from his internet pharmacy between 2005 and 2010. See Mot. at 2; Opp. at 3. Part of his sales model was to have customers fill out medical questionnaires requesting prescriptions when they ordered drugs; Defendant would then forward those questionnaires to physicians - one of whom was Saltzman - who would prescribe or refuse to prescribe the sought drugs. See Mot. at 2; Opp. at 3. If approved, the drugs shipped. See Mot. at 2; Opp. at 3-7.

         Beyond this, the facts get murkier. For now, the Court focuses on what the Government told the grand jury. Although the parties did not submit all the relevant transcripts of grand-jury testimony, the Court relies on their briefs as there is no dispute over the words said. See Mot. at 4-5, 8-9 (quoting May 15, 2014, Grand Jury Transcript); Reply at 3-4 (quoting same).

         First, the grand jury learned that Saltzman approved many prescriptions and denied others, but the facts are not clear about the total volume of orders. An FBI agent testified that Defendant’s website received 38, 363 prescription-drug orders. See May 15, 2014, GJ Tr. At 47. An email from the website host to the FBI, conversely, counts 57, 804 prescriptions approved by Saltzman. See ECF 65-2 (GJ Exh. 48); see also ECF No. 66 (June 5, 2014, GJ Tr.) at 10 (same). The Court need not now resolve this discrepancy. With regard to how many prescriptions Saltzman rejected, the grand jury heard the following:

JUROR: Were any - not just with Dr. Saltzman, but in the course of the investigation, were any people’s prescription requests ever denied?
WITNESS: Yes.
JUROR: There were some denied?
WITNESS: Yes.
PROSECUTOR: About - about how many?
WITNESS: Not - not very many. I don’t know the exact amount but not many.
PROSECUTOR: Well, if we had like 38, 363 orders that were ...

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