FL: Man Sentenced for Illegally Distributing Over $16M of Adulterated HIV Medication

A Florida man was sentenced today to four years and three months in prison for his role in a nationwide scheme to illegally distribute at least $16.7 million of adulterated HIV drugs that were ultimately dispensed to unsuspecting patients throughout the country.

According to court documents, Armando Herrera, 43, of Miami, and his co-conspirators established companies in Florida, Texas, Washington, and California, which they used to sell and distribute adulterated prescription drugs, primarily HIV medications, to wholesale pharmaceutical suppliers. Herrera and his co-conspirators created false documentation to make it appear as though the drugs were acquired legitimately when, in fact, they were not. The pharmaceutical suppliers then sold the drugs to pharmacies, which dispensed the adulterated prescription drugs to unwitting patients. As part of the investigation, federal agents seized more than $1.5 million worth of adulterated prescription drugs from Herrera, including more than 16,000 tablets of adulterated and misbranded HIV medication.

Herrera pleaded guilty on Sept. 25 to one count of conspiracy to introduce adulterated and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida; Acting Special Agent in Charge Stephen Mahmood of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office; Special Agent in Charge Kyle A. Myles of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), Atlanta Region; Assistant Director Michael Nordwall of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division; and Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI Miami Field Office made the announcement.

HHS-OIG, FDIC-OIG, and the FBI investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Alexander Thor Pogozelski of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section prosecuted the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marx P. Calderón for the Southern District of Florida handled asset forfeiture.

The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s efforts to combat health care fraud through the Health Care Fraud Strike Force Program. Since March 2007, this program, currently comprised of nine strike forces operating in 27 federal districts, has charged more than 5,400 defendants who collectively have billed federal health care programs and private insurers more than $27 billion. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, are taking steps to hold providers accountable for their involvement in health care fraud schemes. More information can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/health-care-fraud-unit.

Press Release


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