This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
L.A. Man Found Guilty of Selling Faux Magic Cure-All Drugs
When you think about effective treatments for pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, COPD, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis and respiratory viral conditions, you might likely thing that a good place to start is a medical professional. A few years ago, however, you could have been one of Sami Arshak Yanikian's customers, who bought some of his “Sam’s Inhaler Spray For Viral Respiratory Infections” and “Sam’s Universal Oral Spray," or other bogus products claiming they could cure illnesses, including bird flu, tuberculosis and SARS.
Today, a federal jury took less than two hours to deliberate the case, and returned a guilty conviction for the 62-year-old Country Club Park man, who faces two counts of introducing unapproved new drugs into interstate commerce, according to the Department of Justice.
The FDA began looking at Yanikian's online medical mecca of magic in 2005, when they first warned him he was making unsubstantiated claims about the efficacy of the "drugs" he was selling. Yanikian wound up selling his goods to an undercover agent in the US, after telling the FDA he was only selling his magic potions abroad.
Each of the two misdemeanor counts carry a statutory maximum penalty of one year in federal prison.