Joseph and Adriana Shayota, a married couple from El Cajon, were convicted late Monday (November 28) of criminal copyright infringement and trafficking in misbranded food by a federal court in San Jose. They were considered ringleaders of a group that distributed falsely labeled and manufactured 5-Hour Energy Drink, a caffeine product.
Other San Diegans pleaded guilty in the scam: Kevin Attiq, Mario Ramirez, and Justin Shayota.
An Indiana-based company originally licensed the group to sell the product in Mexico. The now-convicted attempted to sell the product in the U.S. but had difficulty due to the Spanish packaging materials. So, they made fake labels, packaging, and the product itself and sold it in the U.S. at a lower price than the genuine product.
Originally, they were sued in a civil case. As a result, they paid "large" monetary damages, according to Geoffrey Potter, a New York lawyer who handled the civil case.
According to Matthew Parrella, assistant U.S. attorney in San Jose, the falsified product was made in unsanitary conditions.