UPDATE 1-FedEx indicted on new criminal charges in online pharmacy case

Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:16pm EDT

(Adds background on case)

By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO Aug 15 (Reuters) - FedEx Corp faces a new charge of conspiring to launder money in a U.S. criminal case over the company's drug deliveries for rogue online pharmacies despite warnings from law enforcement.

The latest indictment, filed in court on Friday, said FedEx accepted payment from several pharmacies when it knew the revenue was the product of invalid prescriptions.

FedEx was first indicted last month on counts including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Senior company managers were repeatedly warned that online pharmacies which had been the subject of criminal prosecutions for supplying drugs without prescriptions were using its services, the indictment said.

Instead of stopping the conduct, FedEx devised policies so it could continue, the filing said.

FedEx pleaded not guilty and in a statement on Friday said it is innocent of the latest charges as well.

"We will continue to defend against this attack on the integrity of FedEx," Senior Vice President Patrick Fitzgerald said.

The company pressed law enforcement for a list of pharmacies so it can stop shipments, he said. "We have asked for a list, and they have sent us indictments," Fitzgerald said.

However in the new indictment, U.S. prosecutors allege FedEx maintained an internal list of hundreds of pharmacies that the company was able to link to a shipping site.

If convicted, FedEx could face fines of up to roughly $1.6 billion.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is United States of America vs. FedEx Corp et al, 14-cr-380. (Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Richard Chang)

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