Fla. pharmacist guilty in Internet scheme

September 24, 2007

Pharmacy owner pleads guilty to charges stemming from Affpower Internet pharmacy.

Florida pharmacy owner Claude Covino pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances, and agreed to pay a fine of more than $800,000 in a case involving an Internet pharmacy. Covino was co-owner of Saveon Rx Pharmacy, which dispensed more than 200,000 illegal prescriptions over a 13-month period for Affpower, a Costa Rica-based company that recruited pharmacists to dispense for its Internet pharmacies. In addition to Covino, 19 others have been charged in the case, including two pharmacists and three physicians. Saveon Rx received approximately $7 for each order shipped from Affpower above drug costs, and Covino also earned a commission for each order shipped by the pharmacy. He faces a maximum of 25 years in prison for both counts of conspiracy. Internet pharmacies are estimated to take in more than