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‘Unfaithful' bottle labeler to pay $1,000 fine

 

Remember the arrest of Jason Eric Kay for relabeling Gatorade bottles in January? The 38-year-old man from Longmont, Colorado, was accused of removing existing labels of Gatorade bottles and placing new labels that sported a picture of Tiger Woods and his wife. To place the photo of Woods and wife in context, the fake labels also included the word "unfaithful."

 

Earlier this week, Kay was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix for adulteration and removal of a label of food while held for sale. According to a statement by the United States Attorney's Office, Kay has been ordered to serve 2 years probation and pay a $1,000 fine. 


In January 2010, Kay made at least 11 separate purchases of various Gatorade products from Safeway and King Soopers stores removing the labels from those products. Kay took the products home, manufactured or produced new false labels, and then took the product back to the stores, placing it back on shelves for sale to consumers.

 

Further, Kay made labels for Gatorade A.M. Tropical-Mango flavored products, but placed the labels on bottles that were not Gatorade A.M. Tropical-Mango flavored products, but were, in fact, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange flavor. Additionally, the Gatorade A.M. labels that the defendant placed on the bottles of Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange represented that the product contained Vitamin C, when, in fact, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange does not contain Vitamin C. The actions of the defendant caused the product to be misbranded.


The plea agreement further states that at least one consumer purchased a bottle at King Soopers believing the product to be Gatorade A.M. Tropical-Mango flavor which was, in fact, Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange flavor. The consumer registered complaints with King Soopers as well as PepsiCo North America and received remuneration.


Kay was first charged by Criminal Complaint on January 12, 2010. On February 9, 2010, the government charged Kay with the adulteration and removal of a label of food while held for sale, a misdemeanor. Kay pled guilty to that charge on February 19, 2010. He was sentenced May 3, 2010.


United States Attorney David Gaouette praised agents from the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI) for their quick action, which led to Kay's arrest. U.S. Attorney Gaouette also said, "This case is a perfect example of how the public safety and health can be impacted by such conduct. The public needs to be confident that the product they purchase from a retailer is the same as when it left the manufacturer. Lastly, the prosecution should serve as a warning to others contemplating similar crimes to promote themselves not to do so at the expense of the public or the public's health."


This case was investigated by the FDA OCI and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena.

 

Related story: Tiger Woods makes a leap with Gatorade in 2008

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