First, he was convicted of killing his wife.
Now, Jonathan Nyce, a 70-year-old former pharmaceuticals executive, faces charges of scamming money off the owners of dying dogs.
In an indictment filed Tuesday, federal prosecutors accused Nyce, of Collegeville, of bilking desperate pet owners online by selling unapproved drugs he claimed were capable of curing canine cancer.
Investigators believe Nyce began his alleged pet-meds scam shortly after his release from an eight-year prison sentence. Marketing his product under the names “Tumexal” and “Naturasone,” he allegedly bilked pet owners out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by claiming his medicines could treat “a wide variety of cancers” and restore the ailing pets’ “appetite, spirit and energy.”
In reality, prosecutors said, the drugs Nyce peddled had not been FDA-approved and were nothing more than a collection of bulk ingredients he mixed at a facility in Collegeville.
Nyce allegedly charged others for access to clinical trials he claimed he was running for other promising treatments. One woman from Illinois, referenced in the indictment, handed Nyce more than $5,000.
U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain called the new accusations against Nyce “shameful” and accused him of taking advantage of nurturing pet owners “doing everything they [could] to keep their beloved pets alive and well.”
“That is both cruel and illegal, and now the defendant will face the consequences,” he said in a statement.
Nyce is expected to surrender to authorities in the next several days on charges including wire fraud and selling misbranded drugs, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Nyce could not be reached for comment Tuesday and it was unclear whether he had retained an attorney.
But Nyce has repeatedly maintained his innocence in the case that first drew him into the public spotlight — including in his 2012 book titled Under Color of Law, which he describes on the dust jacket as a “fact-driven account of an innocent man’s nightmare journey through the American criminal justice system.”
The 2004 murder of Michelle Rivera Nyce drew national headlines as much for where it took place — a 21-room, 5,600-square-foot McMansion in a tony section of Hopewell Township — as for the high profile of the accused killer.
Nyce, a Temple University graduate and an East Carolina University professor, founded the pharmaceutical firm EpiGenesis and had attracted millions of investor dollars in the ‘90s for an asthma drug he was developing
He was introduced to Michelle in 1989 after responding to a newspaper ad offering to connect American men with women from the Philippines. She eventually immigrated to the United States, married Nyce, and took a job at the Chanel counter at the Quaker Bridge Mall.
But when Nyce learned she was having an affair with their landscaper in 2004, he confronted her as she returned home one night from one of their trysts. He slammed her head into the floor of their garage, killing her and leaving their home covered in blood.
Investigators testified at his trial that Nyce panicked after the slaying, . He stuffed his wife behind the wheel of a Land Rover and somehow drove it through their upscale neighborhood using an 18-inch ice pick to press the pedals from the passenger’s seat. Eventually, he drove the car off a six-foot drop and into an icy creek bank.
A Mercer County jury found Nyce guilty of passion/provocation manslaughter, a lesser crime than the original charge of murder, and he was sentenced him to eight years in prison.
Despite the notoriety his case drew, Nyce and his then-attorney, Robin Lord, always maintained that prosecutors had it all wrong.