Iowa man pleads guilty in fake hepatitis B case

A man from Iowa pleaded guilty on Friday to charges that he falsely told U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigators that he could have spread hepatitis B into batches of a consumer product.

Luke Truesdell, a resident of Cedar Rapids, told FDA investigators that he was a hepatitis B carrier who bled into batches of a consumer product made by his former employer. Truesdell made the false statements to the FDA and in a post on Facebook, Associated Press reports.

Last year, Truesdell was indicted on three counts of making false statements and four counts of communicating false information about a consumer product. On Friday, federal prosecutors said that Truesdell pleaded guilty to two of the counts in exchange for the other charges being dropped.

Truesdell is in federal custody and faces as many as 10 years in prison with a $500,000 fine when he is sentenced.

Court records do not identify Truesdell's former employer or the product he claimed was tainted with hepatitis B, Associated Press reports.

Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis B virus. The disease is spread when blood or other bodily fluid from an infected person enters the body of someone who is not infected. The virus can lead to either an acute or a chronic case of hepatitis B.

The chronic form of hepatitis B results in long-term health problems and can even cause death in some cases.