(Adds FedEx statement, details from indictment))
By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO, July 17 FedEx Corp was
indicted on Thursday for shipping packages from illegal online
pharmacies despite repeated warnings from U.S. drug enforcement
officials, according to a court filing.
The 15-count indictment, handed down by a federal grand jury
in San Francisco, includes charges for conspiracy to distribute
In a statement, FedEx Senior Vice President Patrick
Fitzgerald said the company is innocent and will plead not
"FedEx transports more than 10 million packages a day,"
Fitzgerald said. "The privacy of our customers is essential to
the core of our business. This privacy is now at risk."
Beginning in 2004, FedEx was warned "on no less than six
different occasions" that illegal Internet pharmacies were using
its services to distribute prescription drugs, the indictment
said. Those warnings extended to senior management at the
company, the filing said.
In one instance, FedEx knew the Drug Enforcement
Administration shut down one pharmacy, but continued to ship
packages from its affiliates.
FedEx's Fitzgerald said U.S. prosecutors are asking that the
company assume responsibility for the legality of millions of
packages a day.
"We are a transportation company. We are not law
enforcement," he said.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of
California is United States of America vs. FedEx Corporation,
FedEx Express Inc and FedEx Corporate Services Inc, 14-cr-380.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Chris Reese)