By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com March 26 2003 1:00 AM ET
A former employee of New York's Montefiore Medical Center was sentenced Monday to up to five years in prison for forging prescriptions for a drug used to treat AIDS and then selling the medication on the black market. Enrique Rojas, who had worked as an HIV education coordinator at the Bronx hospital, was sentenced in Albany County Court and ordered to pay more than $1.7 million in restitution.
In July, Rojas pleaded guilty to first-degree grand larceny. He collected $1.7 million in proceeds during a nine-month period by faxing hundreds of forged prescriptions for the anti-wasting drug Serostim to out-of-state pharmacies. The pharmacies filled the prescriptions, which they believed were legitimate, shipped the medication to the addresses Rojas provided, and billed Medicaid, which reimburses providers $6,300 for a month's supply of the drug. Rojas admitted to selling the drug on the black market, typically to bodybuilders and other athletes who wish to build muscle mass. A month's supply of the drug carries a street value of $3,000 to $3,200.