The DOJ announced that Lazaro Hernandez, of Miami, was charged with 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 specific money laundering offenses. It is alleged that Hernandez, along with his co-conspirators, illegally distributed misbranded and adulterated HIV prescription drugs to unknowing patients.
According to the indictment, Hernandez illegally obtained large quantities of HIV medication and created false labeling, along with supporting false documentation, to make the medications appear to be legitimate. The medications were allegedly obtained through fraud, cargo thefts, and pharmacy burglaries. Hernandez and his co-conspirators allegedly created wholesale drug distribution companies in Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York, and sold the adulterated medications at a discounted price to co-conspirators at pharmaceutical companies in Mississippi, Maryland, and New York. In turn, these wholesale pharmaceutical companies resold the adulterated drugs to pharmacies throughout the country. From 2019 to 2021, Hernandez and his co-conspirators are alleged to have profited more than $230 million for distributing adulterated drugs. In addition to unsuspecting patients receiving adulterated and misbranded medication, health insurers were billed for the prescriptions. It is alleged that Hernandez laundered his proceeds through several corporations in Miami.
Hernandez is not the first to be charged in connection with this nationwide scheme. In 2019, two pharmaceutical company CEOs and two bank account holders were indicted on several charges, including mail fraud and committing violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Like Hernandez, these defendants were alleged to have distributed illegally acquired and misbranded medical drugs to unsuspecting pharmacies and patients. In addition to HIV medication, the foregoing defendants also distributed medications used for the treatment of cancer and various mental illnesses. The 2019 case now has 15 defendants, including Hernandez. Along with the individual charges outlined above, the grand jury returned a third superseding indictment which added Hernandez and Eladio Vega to the 2019 case. Hernandez faces more than 100 years in prison if convicted of all counts. To date, eight defendants have entered guilty pleas.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection with white-collar criminal and health care fraud cases. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.