California Couple Guilty in Phony Energy Drink Scheme

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California couple has been convicted of plotting to sell millions of bottles of counterfeit 5-Hour Energy shots.

Joseph and Adriana Shayota of El Cajon were found guilty of conspiracy Monday by a San Jose jury. Each could face up to 15 years in federal prison.

Authorities say the couple produced and marketed millions of fake 5-Hour Energy shots that were mixed from unregulated ingredients by day laborers under unsanitary conditions.

It’s unknown whether any consumers were harmed.

Six other people have pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme, which prompted the distributor to pull millions of bottles of phony shots from store shelves in 2012.

In March, a New York court awarded 5-Hour’s distributor, Living Essentials, $20 million in a lawsuit against the counterfeiters.