A man previously convicted of killing his wife also spent years mixing together random ingredients and selling them to desperate dog owners under the guise that his concoction cured canine cancer, federal prosecutors say.
Jonathan Nyce, 70, of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, began his scheme in 2012 and created several companies though which he falsely claimed to develop drugs that cured cancer in dogs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney William McSwain said Nyce preyed on “caring owners” doing “everything they can to keep their beloved pets alive and well.”
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“The defendant is charged with taking advantage of that nurturing instinct in the worst way possible by defrauding pet owners and giving them false hope that they might be able to save their dying pet.” McSwain said.
Prosecutors allege Nyce used various websites to promote and ship the fake drugs “Tumexal” and “Naturasone,” claiming they cured a “wide variety” of cancers. Owners of terminally ill dogs were duped into paying Nyce hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the fake medicines, and some paid him large sums of money for the chance of their pets taking part in clinical trials, according to prosecutors.
Nyce is charged with wire fraud and the interstate shipment of misbranded animal drugs. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 32 years behind bars and a fine of up to $1.25 million.
Nyce was previously convicted in New Jersey of passion-provoked manslaughter in the 2004 death of his wife, who was having an affair with their gardener. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania declined to comment on Nyce’s manslaughter conviction.
Multiple attempts by NBC10 to contact Nyce were unsuccessful.