updated 5/20/2005 6:41:29 PM ET 2005-05-20T22:41:29

The courts took over the assets on Friday of a Burnsville-based online pharmacy that prosecutors say sold up to $18 million worth of drugs over the Internet and mislabeled some drugs it sent to patients.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis granted prosecutors' request to shut down several online pharmacies related to Xpress Pharmacy Direct, according to court documents signed Friday.

Prosecutors alleged in court documents that the company mislabeled, mispackaged and repackaged prescription drugs. It also overcharged consumers and dispensed drugs, including painkillers, without valid prescriptions, according to federal prosecutors.

No one has been charged with a crime.

Davis also froze the assets of several top ranking employees of the company, including owner and operator Christopher Smith. One of Smith's attorneys, Bill Michael, disputed the government's allegations.

"I think that what the United States Attorney's office and the Department of Justice has done is shut down a company that was on the cutting edge of using technology in the health care industry," he said.

When asked about the allegation that patients didn't get the drugs they ordered, Michael said affidavits filed by the officers who investigated the company indicate they received the medications they asked for.

On May 10, federal agents raided the business and seized computers and business records. The company, which employed 85 people, has been closed since then. Friday's order indicates it will stay closed until any criminal investigation is over.

As part of the investigation, federal authorities have already seized more than $4 million in assets from the company and its top employees, including a $1.1 million house, $1.8 million in cars and $1.3 million in cash.

Court papers indicate the federal action is part of a broader inquiry that includes businesses in North Carolina and Illinois that are allegedly linked to Xpress Pharmacy Direct, which solicited sales through the Internet and a call center in Burnsville.

Prosecutors issued a news release Friday indicating that any patients who think they may have been hurt by the pharmacy's medications should contact their physician, and physicians should forward those concerns to the Food and Drug Administration.

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