Three individuals were sentenced to prison for their fraudulent marketing and sale of light-emitting medical devices to elderly consumers. Robert “Larry” Lytle, the leader of the scheme, was sentenced to 12 years in prison; Ronald D. Weir Jr. was sentenced to 24 months in prison; and Irina Kossovskaia was sentenced to 15 months in prison. See DOJ Press Release.
As part of his guilty plea, Lytle admitted he and his co-conspirators sold the laser medical devices (called Qlasers) with false and misleading labeling to defraud consumers, and that he continued to do so in violation of a federal court order. He further admitted obtaining more than $16 million over the duration of the scheme. Weir and Kossovskaia (who operated QLaser distributorships) also pleaded guilty to their participation in the scheme.
Under their scheme, the three marketed and distributed QLaser devices to mostly elderly consumers, falsely claiming they treated a wide variety of medical conditions, including cancer, emphysema, diabetes, autism, HIV, and heart disease. Lytle also created false and misleading product labeling representing, or at least strongly suggesting, these claims had been scientifically proven. However, no scientific evidence supported the use of QLaser devices to treat these conditions. Nor had the FDA ever approved the devices for these uses. Lytle and his co-conspirators continued with their scheme even after a court ordered them to stop selling the laser devices and refund all QLaser purchases.
In announcing the sentencing, the government did not mince words in condemning this fraud and in stressing the government’s commitment to take action against this kind of misconduct, especially when it affects the elderly:
These defendants exploited elderly victims suffering from chronic, serious medical conditions. . . . Protecting Americans from this abhorrent behavior will remain one of the Justice Department’s highest priorities. . . . The sentences today should serve as a deterrent to anyone contemplating similar schemes.
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