On June 15, 2023, a United States District Judge sentenced a Florida man to 15 years in prison for his role in an HIV prescription drug fraud scheme that amassed more than $230 million in two years. The defendant was initially indicted on June 17, 2022, and charged with six counts of conspiracy and money laundering. Unlike most of the fraud convictions we report on, this one was directed against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and involved adulterating and misbranding drugs. The defendant pled guilty to only two counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Click here to view the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida, to learn more about the arrest.
The Charges: Adulterated and Misbranded HIV Medications.
The six counts that the defendant was initially charged with include conspiracy to introduce adulterated and misbranded drugs and to defraud the United States, conspiracy to traffic pre-retail medical products with false documentation, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering. The false documentation and money laundering charges were later dropped in the plea deal.
This lower-than-recommended prison sentence came after the defendant spoke about his gambling addiction, which allegedly led him to participate in the fraud. Also, two of his 47 character references addressed the court in person. The judge was swayed to give him a lower sentence as a result. View the indictment in the case in full here.
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Becker, Zoey. “In fraud case targeting HIV meds, Florida man gets 15 years in prison.” FiercePharma. (June 21, 2023). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com. The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1000, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714. Phone: (407) 331-6620; Toll-Free: (888) 331-6620.
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