A Longmont, Colorado prankster was arrested for putting labels of his own design on some Gatorade bottles in some grocery stores around Colorado. The labels Jason Eric Kay made had… “a photograph of professional golfer Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Woods on one side, and the word ‘unfaithful’ on the other side”.
Sounds pretty harmless, right? But does the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI) sure don’t think so. The DOJ and FTC are charging the prankster with “intent to cause serious injury to the business of any person” and are saying he needs 5 years in prison and a $450,000 fine!
No, Really! I’m not kidding!
Jason is being charged with “misbranding and altering food labels with intent to cause serious injury to the business of any person… The introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of any food that is adulterated or misbranded (which carries a penalty of not more than 1 year incarceration and not more than a $100,000 fine)… The alteration, mutilation, destruction, obliteration, or removal of the whole or any part of the labeling of, or the doing of any other act with respect to food, if such act is done while such article is held for sale after shipment in interstate commerce and results in such article being adulterated or misbranded (which carries a penalty of not more than 1 year incarceration and not more than a $100,000 fine) AND …With intent to cause serious injury to the business of any person, tainting a consumer product or rendering materially false or misleading the labeling of, or container for, a consumer product which affects interstate or foreign commerce. (which carries a penalty of not more than 3 years’ incarceration, a not more than a $250,000 fine.)
What. The. Hell.
How exactly does this re-labeling a Gatorade bottle have any “intent to cause serious injury to the business of any person” possibility whatsoever?! He covered a store label with a sticker. A sticker! His punishment should be to pay back the store owner(s) for their merchandise, and, at the very worst, write an apology to Gatorade.
What the hell is wrong with these idiots blowing something like this way out of porportion? Do they have nothing else to do? That’s the biggest fish to fry up there?
Hopefully Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena will plead this right out the door. But if it goes to trial, I would love to see the judge’s reaction when they read the charges.