3 Floridians Get 18 Years Each In Baby Formula Scheme

From the Justice Department:

A federal district judge in Miami has sentenced each of three South Florida residents to 220 months in prison after a jury found them guilty of orchestrating an elaborate fraud scheme that cheated U.S. manufacturers of infant formula, eye-care products, and other FDA-regulated items out of more than $100 million.

Between 2013 and 2018, Johnny Grobman, 48, Raoul Doekhie, 53, and Sherida Nabi, 57, secured deep price discounts for infant formula and other items by lying to the U.S. manufacturers of the products.

Doekhie and Nabi (who are married) told the manufacturers that they were purchasing the products to ship overseas, to Suriname, often in connection with purported government procurement contracts they held in Suriname.

In fact, the defendants did not have government procurement contracts and never intended to export the products to Suriname. Instead, Grobman and others sold the products in the United States for millions of dollars, which the three defendants later split among themselves.

The defendants hid their activity from the U.S. manufacturers of the FDA-regulated products in one of three ways. The first was to send “dummy” shipments abroad. The dummy shipments did not contain the products purchased from the manufacturers, but they did generate documentation to prove that an export occurred.

The second method was to “U-turn” the products: The products were shipped abroad, generating export documentation. As soon as they arrived overseas, they were shipped back to the United States.

The third method was to create fraudulent export shipping documentation showing that the products were exported when they actually never left the country.

On April 25, 2022, the Court entered forfeiture money judgments for the amounts of the criminal proceeds traceable to the offenses of conviction as follows: $87,187,374.83 against Grobman and $115,699,273.61 jointly against the Defendants Doekhie and Nabi.

“The fraud perpetrated by these defendants is nothing short of egregious,” said U.S. Attorney Gonzalez. “The 18-year prison sentences reflect the seriousness of the defendants’ crimes. Our Office will continue to vigorously prosecute those who commit these types of offenses.”

Law & Crime reports:

“We have worked 12 years+ with minimal issues, we should be fortunate about it,” defendant Grobman allegedly said to defendant Nabi in an email cited by prosecutors in the sentencing request. “I understand every time we lose some line, it affects us all, but this is out of control, that a driver talks, these are the kind of morons that elected our current president.”

In the sentencing memo, prosecutors rubbished the extravagant lifestyle the defendants subsequently led and pointed to Google photos of a “a $9 million waterfront home in Golden Beach, a three-bedroom condominium on Las Olas, another three-bedroom condominium in Rotterdam, luxury cars, private schools, international vacations, and the 48-foot yacht Grobman sold in June” as fruits of the scheme.