A NORTH Cumbria-based company has been found guilty of selling a potentially deadly “fat burner” chemical to customers for human consumption.
At Carlisle Crown Court today (WED), Enhanced Athlete Europe Limited was convicted by a jury, unanimously, of one offence of placing an unsafe food product on to the market.
This followed a trial which went ahead in the absence of anyone representing the company, which has registered addresses in both Wigton and Gateshead.
Jurors had been shown examples of the toxic substance – known as 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) – which was found to have been shipped in tablet form to tens of thousands of customers all over the world from a secluded Wigton industrial unit during one month alone.
When this premises was searched, in September 2017, huge mixing and pill-packing machines were found, along with tablets and several kilos of yellow DNP powder.
The jury was told that while the DNP chemical could cause rapid weight loss if consumed, it was also “toxic to humans, causing serious harmful side effects and, in fact, fatalities.”
A prosecutor illustrated how email dosage discussions and feedback were exchanged between website users – including sportsmen – and the company’s director, Shaun Corrigan. Some messages raised “serious concerns” about the use of DNP as a fat-burner, with one person warning Mr Corrigan: “Last thing you want, bro, is some kid burning himself inside out.”
Both the company and 25-year-old Corrigan – formerly a director of European operations – are due to be sentenced at the crown court later this week. Although the company no longer has any directors listed, it is said to have considerable assets contained in a bank account which is currently frozen.