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Florida Man Pleads Guilty to $16.7 Million Bogus HIV Medication Scheme

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to $16.7 Million Bogus HIV Medication Scheme

<p>Florida Man Pleads Guilty to $16.7 Million Bogus HIV Medication Scheme</p>

Amando Herrera sold the counterfeit medications that were ultimately prescribed to unsuspecting patients.

A Florida man on Monday pleaded guilty to distributing at least $16.7 million worth of counterfeit HIV and other medication to suppliers, pharmacies, and patients.

Amando Herrera, 43, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to introduce adulterated and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, according to the Department of Justice. He was accused of setting up bogus companies in California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Texas which he used to sell adulterated medication to wholesale pharmaceutical distributors which sold the fake medicine to their established base of pharmacies. The products were ultimately sold to unsuspecting customers.

“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 DOJ said in a statement on Monday. “The pharmaceutical suppliers then sold the drugs to pharmacies, which dispensed the adulterated prescription drugs to unwitting patients.”

Gilead had been pursuing a civil lawsuit against Herrara and his alleged co-conspirator, Lazaro Roberto Hernandez. In April, Hernandez pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and in June was sentenced to 180 months in prison.

“Gilead’s ongoing investigation revealed that these two kingpins directed the initial sale of the counterfeits through suppliers created solely to sell counterfeit medications,” Gilead said in a statement last year. “The suppliers sold the counterfeits to pre-existing licensed gray-market distributors with an established pharmacy customer base. The distributors then sold the counterfeit medication to U.S. pharmacies who dispensed the medication.”

Herrera will be sentenced on December 21. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.

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