A man in Florida faces up to 100 years in prison for allegedly distributing over $230 million worth of adulterated and misbranded HIV medication to unsuspecting pharmacies across the country.
Last Friday the Department of Justice announced in a press release the indictment of Lazaro Hernandez, 51, of Miami, claiming he and his unnamed co-conspirators “acquired large quantities of HIV medication illegally” which they then repackaged to appear authentic. Prosecutors allege Hernandez and his co-conspirators then established licensed wholesale drug distribution companies in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, and New York, which they used to sell the altered drugs at a steep discount to unsuspecting pharmacies across the country. These pharmacies sold the adulterated drugs to unsuspecting patients and billed the cost to Medicare.
According to the indictment, Hernandez and his co-conspirators were paid more than $230 million, which he laundered through multiple front companies in Miami.
Hernandez was indicted for conspiracy to deliver into interstate commerce adulterated and misbranded drugs, conspiracy to traffic in medical products with false documentation, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering. If convicted on all counts, he faces a total maximum sentence of over 100 years in prison.
The DOJ announced trial Attorney Alexander Thor Pogozelski of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy James Abraham of the Southern District of Florida will prosecute the case while Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Stone will handle the forfeiture of assets.
No information was provided in the press release regarding which specific pharmacies or drugs were impacted.