Federal appeals court reverses decision against Great Neck company president

Federal appeals court reverses decision against Great Neck company president

A federal appeals court vacated a conviction of the president of a Great Neck-based pharmaceutical company this month, deciding that evidence was improperly excluded prior to the man’s conviction.

William Scully, 48, the president of Pharmalogical Inc., a Great Neck-based company also known as Medical Device King, was originally found guilty of importing and distributing drugs not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and sentenced to five years in prison.

The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel ruled that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York erred in excluding evidence related to advice given to Scully by a lawyer regarding the importing of drugs with foreign labels, court documents show.

“The main issue on appeal is whether the district court properly excluded evidence relating to Scully’s advice-of-counsel defense,” the appeals court said. “Because we find that the evidence was admissible and its exclusion was not harmless error, we vacate the district court’s judgment and remand for further proceedings consistent with this decision.”

Scully had previously argued that he was assured his actions were legal based on legal counsel.

The indictment alleged that Scully, of Commack, and Shahrad Rodi Lameh, the company’s vice president, of  Manhasset, sold counterfeit cancer drugs to an Iowan oncology practice and Mirena brand birth control devices to various women’s clinics, leading to more than $17 million in profits between 2009 and 2013.

Among the charges were conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, distribution of misbranded and counterfeit prescription drugs, trafficking in counterfeit goods and smuggling, prosecutors previously said.

Scott Resnik, Scully’s attorney, was not available for comment on Thursday, but previously told the New York Law Journal that the ruling could be “tremendously significant” in a retrial.

“This is correcting an important evidentiary ruling that happened at the trial court, that really impaired our ability to put our whole defense up,” Resnick told the New York Law Journal. “My client truly believes he will be able to succeed at the retrial, now that he’ll be able to present his whole defense and all the evidence that support the decisions he made on how to handle his business.”

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment.

Prosecutors have asked the Second Circuit to give them until Jan. 27 – or just over a month – to decide if they should seek a rehearing of the appeal.

April 10 has been set as a potential retrial date.

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