Home Technology EBay to pay $59M to settle US charges over illegal pill presses

EBay to pay $59M to settle US charges over illegal pill presses

EBay to pay $59M to settle US charges over illegal pill presses

EBay agreed to pay $59 million and enhance its compliance program to resolve U.S. Department of Justice allegations it didn’t try hard enough to stop criminals from buying devices for producing counterfeit drugs.

Wednesday’s settlement is the Justice Department’s first with an e-commerce company for violating the federal Controlled Substances Act, which governs the manufacturing and distribution of drugs.

It arose from eBay’s monitoring of thousands of pill presses and encapsulating machines sold through its website.

Signage at eBay headquarters in San Jose, California, on Aug. 9, 2021. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Justice Department said criminals can use pill presses and encapsulating machines to illegally manufacture counterfeit pills, including fentanyl-laced pills that helped fuel the nation’s opioid epidemic.

EBay was accused of failing to comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including verification of purchasers’ identities, to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for the devices, including presses capable of producing thousands of pills an hour.

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Many purchasers of the pill presses were later prosecuted for drug-related crimes, the Justice Department said.

“Fentanyl – pressed into fake pills that look like real prescription medications – is killing Americans,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a statement. “EBay and other e-commerce platforms must do their part to protect the public.”


EBay did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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