SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Eleven people have been indicted on charges they conspired to sell counterfeit bottles of 5-Hour Energy drinks.
The U.S. attorney's office for Northern California says defendants relabeled legitimate bottles of 5-Hour Energy drinks bound for Mexico. Federal prosecutors say the defendants also mixed counterfeit drinks in vats, flooding U.S. markets with millions of fake bottles.
The alleged conspiracy occurred between 2009 and 2012. The counterfeit drinks were removed from stores in 2012.
The investigation targeted defendants in California and in Mexico.
The caffeinated drinks are purchased by 9 million people every week with sales of $1 billion a year, a spokesman for 5-Hour Energy said.
It is not clear when the indictments were unsealed. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office says indictments could have been unsealed last week.