MIAMI (WRIC) — A Florida man was arrested on Friday for allegedly allocating over $230 million in weakened HIV drugs to patients across the country.
Lazaro Hernandez, 51, acquired large amounts of prescription drugs meant to treat HIV illegally before creating false drug labels to make the drugs seem legitimate, according to Hernandez’s indictment, according to the Justice Department.
The DOJ said Hernandez, along with his co-conspirators, set up licensed drug distribution companies in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
These illegal companies sold the drugs for a much lower price than legitimate companies to more conspirators in Mississippi, New York and Maryland. They then sold the medication to pharmacies throughout the United States, according to the department.
The pharmacies that sold to customers billed the drugs to various health insurers, including Medicare. Between 2019 and 2021, the pharmaceutical distributors paid Hernandez and his co-conspirators over $230 million. They then laundered the money through multiple Miami corporations, according to the Justice Department.
The DOJ said that Hernandez is being charged with conspiracy to deliver into interstate commerce adulterated and misbranded drugs, conspiracy to traffic in medical products with false documentation and conspiracy to commit money laundering, along with other money laundering offenses.
He is also being charged in a separate case that was decided by a Miami grand jury on June 14.
If convicted on all counts, he could spend more than 100 years in prison. Hernandez appeared in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Friday, according to the DOJ.