Man selling fraudulent canine cancer drugs sentenced to 97 months in prison


The defendant defrauded 900 pet owners out of almost $1 million



Jonathan Nyce, 73, of Collegeville, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 97 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release, and $500 special assessment for carrying out a years-long scheme after defrauding pet owners of money by claiming to sell drugs that would cure canine cancer.

“In shopping these worthless ‘drugs’ to desperate pet owners, Jonathan Nyce’s actions were both criminal and cruel,” said Jacqueline C. Romero, US Attorney, in an organizational release.1 “He deliberately exploited people’s emotions, their love for their ailing dogs, purely for his own financial gain. Many people consider dogs members of their families, so they’re especially vulnerable to such schemes. For defrauding his victims and thumbing his nose at the FDA, justice demanded that Mr. Nyce be held accountable.”

According to the release,1 Nyce created multiple companies such as “Canine Care,” “ACGT,” and “CAGT” and he then purported to develop drugs that were intended to treat cancer in dogs. The scheme began in 2012 by using various websites for these companies and Nyce marketed these medications to pet owners under the drug names “Tumexal” and “Naturason.” The websites for these “cancer-curing” medications contained multiple false and fraudulent claims about the efficacy and safety of these drugs including “Tumexal is effective against a wide variety of cancers,” and, “[i]n fact, Tumexal will almost always restore a cancer-stricken dog’s appetite, spirit and energy!"1 The investigation found that the drugs Nyce was marketing were a collection of bulk ingredients coming from various sources that the defendant blended himself at a facility on Arcola Road in Collegeville.

Further investigation found that Nyce used telephone and email conversations to entice owners of dogs with terminally ill dogs into giving him hundreds or thousands of dollars for these drugs. Nyce is also reported to have told prospective customers that he could get their pets into clinical trials, but they would need to give him large amounts of money to secure them a spot. The evidence at his trial showed he sold nearly $1 million worth of drugs to 900 different victims.1 Nyce marketing, sale, and shipment of the drugs violated the FDA’s Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because the drugs were not approved by the FDA and the defendant falsely claimed in promotional materials that the research of the fraudulent companies was “funded in part by the US Food and Drug Administration.”

“The FDA’s animal drug approval process ensures that our pets receive safe and effective products. Ignoring the FDA’s requirements and selling unapproved drugs to vulnerable US consumers will not be tolerated,” said George A. Scavdis, special agent in charge of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office. “We will aggressively pursue and bring to justice those criminals who place profits above the health and safety of animal patients.”

The case was investigated by the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Consumer Protection Branch of the Department of Justice and will be prosecuted by Christopher E. Parisi, an assistant US Attorney.

Before these charges, Nyce was found guilty in 2005 and served 5 years for the 2004 murder of Michelle Nyce. In December 2022, a federal judge convicted him of interstate shipment of misbranded animal drugs as well as wire fraud.1,2


  1. Collegeville Man Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison for Scheme to Sell Fraudulent Canine Cancer Drugs to Pet Owners. News release. US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. February 16, 2024. Accessed February 20, 2024.
  2. Atmonavage J. Man convicted of killing wife sold fake drugs to owners of dying dogs, feds say. Published February 5, 2020. Accessed February 20, 2024.
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