A Miami-based man has been arrested and charged with being part of a nationwide network that distributed "adulterated and mislabeled HIV drugs" (the virus that causes AIDS) to patients across the country, the US Department of Justice reported Friday.

Lázaro Hernández, 51, acquired "large quantities of HIV drugs illegally and then manufactured false labels and other documentation" so that these drugs "high price" appear legitimate, said this federal executive department in a statement.

To carry out the criminal plan, Hernandez and his accomplices allegedly established licensed wholesale drug distribution companies in Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.

This US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fraud ring used these companies to sell "heavily discounted adulterated drugs" to other accomplices in wholesale pharmaceutical distributors in Mississippi, Maryland and New York, who "they then resold to pharmacies across the country"according to the Prosecutor’s Office.

these pharmacies "billed health insurers, including Medicare, for drugs and dispensed adulterated and mislabeled drugs to patients"who suspected nothing.

Between 2019 and 2021, according to the indictment, the wholesale distributors of these pharmaceutical products They paid Hernández and his accomplices more than 230 million dollars for the "adulterated and illegally acquired drugs".

Hernandez, who is accused of "conspiracy to deliver into interstate commerce adulterated and mislabeled drugs, false documentation, and conspiracy to commit money laundering"allegedly laundered hundreds of millions of dollars through his Miami-based corporations.

If convicted of all charges in a Miami court, Hernandez faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison.

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