FedEx was indicted by a federal grand jury this week on 15 counts related to conspiracy to traffic prescription drugs for illegal Internet pharmacies.
"Beginning in approximately 1998, Internet pharmacies began offering consumers prescription drugs . . . based solely on the completion of an online questionnaire, without a physical examination, diagnosis, or face-to-face meeting with a physician," wrote the attorney's office for the Northern District of California
in a statement.
"As early as 2004, FedEx knew that it was delivering drugs to dealers and addicts."
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The Wall Street Journal reported
that the company made at least $820 million shipping the drugs, and faces a potential fine of at least $1.6 billion, "along with restitution and forfeiture of profits," if found guilty.
The indictment included 15 counts in total, and made clear the company was warned many times about the unlawful activity.
"We will defend against this attack on the integrity and good name of FedEx and its employees," Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president of marketing and communications, said in response to the allegations.
Responding to past subpoenas, FedEx has previously said it is "absurd and deeply disturbing" that the government expects the company to act as a task force for catching criminals.
Echoing those sentiments in his response this week, Fitzgerald said, "We are a transportation company — we are not law enforcement."
UPS was also targeted in past probes regarding illegal Internet pharmacies, and signed a non-prosecution agreement that included a $40 million payout in 2013.
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