PHILADELPHIA, PA — U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Ungerer & Company, a flavor and fragrance business operating in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $230,000 and improve its compliance measures to resolve allegations it failed to make required notifications to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) about certain international shipments of listed chemicals that can be used to manufacture illicit controlled substances, and failed to create necessary records documenting the transfer of chemicals within the company.
Federal law and regulations require companies to notify the DEA before they export certain chemicals that can be used to manufacture illicit controlled substances on a form frequently referred to as a “486.” In addition, federal law and regulations require companies to generate and maintain records regarding certain transactions involving these chemicals. For example, companies must generate and maintain these records when they make transactions between their own DEA registrations such as transfers to different locations or within the same company.
Ungerer and the United States previously entered into a civil settlement agreement, in which Ungerer agreed to pay $450,000 to resolve allegations that the company had imported and exported listed chemicals on a number of occasions and failed to provide information to the DEA on the date and quantity actually imported and exported within 30 days after certain transactions. As part of that resolution, the company entered into an administrative agreement with the DEA to implement certain remedial measures.
With the company’s implementation of those remedial measures, Ungerer self-disclosed certain conduct it had discovered to the United States. The current settlement is based on that self-disclosure. In particular, the settlement alleges that Ungerer, in 2018, negligently exported listed chemicals on three occasions without submitting the required pre-export notification, or “486.” In addition, the settlement alleges that Ungerer had transferred listed chemicals between its DEA registrations, but negligently failed to generate the records required to document those transactions.
Along with the $230,000 payment, Ungerer entered into two three-year administrative agreements with the DEA under which it has committed to implement heightened remedial measures. For example, the agreement requires Ungerer to document transfers of listed chemicals between registrations, train its employees on the documentation requirement, and regularly provide the DEA with a list of their listed chemical exports.
“Ungerer self-disclosed these chemical violations to the United States on its own accord,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “The documentation requirements that are the subject of this settlement agreement are critical to ensure accountability and transparency over listed chemical transactions inside and outside of the United States. Ungerer’s self-disclosure is an important step in its commitment to compliance.”
“Ungerer appropriately discovered and disclosed these export reporting issues,” said Thomas Hodnett, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division. “The DEA’s goal is to ensure the proper transfer and export of listed chemicals so they can be properly accounted for.”
This investigation was conducted with the Philadelphia Field Division of the DEA and the Diversion Chemical Investigations Unit in the DEA’s Diversion Control Division. For the United States Attorney’s Office, Assistant United States Attorney Anthony D. Scicchitano handled the investigation and settlement.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only; there has been no determination of liability.
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