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VA Staffer Admits to Jaw-Dropping Theft of HIV Meds

Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Millions of dollars in prescriptions were looted over the course of four years.

A former pharmacy procurement technician at a Veterans Administration hospital in New Jersey is facing a decade in prison for allegedly stealing $10 million in live-saving HIV medications.

Lisa Hoffman, 49, recently pleaded guilty to theft of government property after she was arrested and accused by federal prosecutors of using her position as a pharmacy technician to pilfer drugs. Between 2015 and 2019, Hoffman ordered the medications as part of her job at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center pharmacy in East Orange, N.J., but instead pocketed them and sold them to another individual. Hoffman was in charge of maintaining the VA pharmacy's inventory; she is no longer employed there.

Hoffman likely pleaded guilty because she was caught on video surveillance stuffing dozens of prescription bottles into her personal bags. The person Hoffman sold them to for cash, Wagner Checonolasco, allegedly then turned around and sold them to others. The FBI states that the pair ended up stealing approximately $10 million in medications. Checonolasco was also arrested and will be sentenced in December.

Hoffman will be sentenced for her crimes on March 9.

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