Feds arrest, charge Charlotte woman for allegedly selling unapproved COVID-19 remedies online

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Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:35 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Federal authorities have charged a Charlotte woman for allegedly selling unapproved COVID-19 remedies online.

The Department of Justice announced Diana Daffin, 68, was arrested and charged with violating the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act by selling unapproved COVID-19 remedies over the internet.

According to the criminal complaint, Daffin owns a holistic medicine company called Savvy Holistic Health doing business as Holistic Healthy Pet. 

Court documents say in March 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) learned that Daffin was selling an unapproved drug on her website, with the brand name HAMPL, that Daffin claimed was a COVID-19 remedy and treatment. 

In April 2020, the FDA sent Daffin and the Australian manufacturer of the drug a warning letter explaining that the HAMPL COVID-19 drug Daffin was selling was an adulterated, misbranded, and unapproved drug and that she should take immediate action to correct the violation. 

Court documents say Daffin responded by telling the FDA that she removed the product from her website.

In August 2020, the FDA sent Daffin a second warning letter identifying other unapproved HAMPL brand drugs that Daffin was selling.  In response, Daffin told the FDA that, regarding “HAMPL products” she would be “closing that product line.” 

Court documents say Daffin also said that she would shut down her website while she worked to replace her product line.  The complaint alleges that Daffin continued to sell unapproved HAMPL brand drugs by moving them to a password protected website.

According to the complaint, an undercover agent later contacted Daffin by email, and she provided the password to the website. 

Court documents say the undercover agent then purchased several unapproved HAMPL brand drugs listed in the August 2020 warning letter. 

In email correspondence with the undercover agent, Daffin reportedly stated that the HAMPL products “work for covid, but fda shut it down.” Court documents say Daffin later sold and shipped the undercover agent an unapproved HAMPL-brand COVID-19 drug.

On March 5, 2021, the undercover agent in New Hampshire received HAMPL drugs sold by Daffin, including the purported COVID-19 remedy.  The label stated that it provided “a stronger immunity against CV” and promised “Immunity for Humans.”

Daffin was charged by complaint in the District of New Hampshire.  She was arrested in May outside of her home in North Carolina.

This matter was investigated by the United States Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter.

Court documents say the charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations.  A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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