UK counterfeiter must pay £5.6m or extend jail term

Peter GillespieA key figure behind the infiltration of more than two million counterfeit doses of life-saving medicines into the UK supply chain has been hit with a confiscation order to the tune of £5.6m.

Peter Gillespie is currently serving an eight year prison sentence for fraud and money laundering offences relating the introduction of counterfeit cancer, blood and psychosis medicines, was ordered to pay the sum at Croydon Crown Court on July 4, according to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

If he fails to pay within six months he will face a further eight year prison sentence on top of the one he is already serving.

Gillespie was convicted of fraud and money laundering offences in April 2011 and since that time law enforcement agencies have been trying to trace the proceeds of his offending and seize them. He has consistently refused to disclose where he has put the money gained through his offences.

Over a five-month period in 2007, Gillespie was involved in inveigling fake copies of three AstraZeneca drugs - prostate cancer treatment Casodex (bicalutamide), Zyprexa (olanzapine) for schizophrenia and cardiovascular treatment Plavix (clopidogrel) into wholesalers and pharmacies, with around 900,000 doses actually reaching patients' hands.

The retail value of the counterfeit shipments has been estimated a £4.7m, and around 700,000 doses have never been traced.

The North West Regional Asset Recovery Team (NW RART), a specialist police unit, conducted an enquiry on behalf of the MHRA to find the money resulting in yesterday’s order being made.

An appeal against Gillespie's sentence was rejected by the UK High Court in 2011.

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