Duo stole more than $10 million in HIV meds from VA Hospital, feds allege

Source: MEGA

Jul. 11 2021, Published 11:40 a.m. ET

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A duo is accused of stealing more than $10 million in HIV medications from a VA hospital and then reselling them, according to federal prosecutors.

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Lisa M. Hoffman, 48, of Orange, New Jersey, was indicted this week on charges of conspiracy, theft of government property and theft of medical products. Wagner Checonolasco,33, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, was previously charged in connection to the case. His case remains pending.

Between 2015 and 2018, Hoffman was a procurement officer at a New Jersey Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She ordered large amounts of HIV prescription meds, so she could steal the extras, according to prosecutors.

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Hoffman waited until her co-workers were out of sight and then stole the meds from the clinic, prosecutors alleged.

She then met Checonolasco at her home and traded the medication for cash, prosecutors claimed. Checonolasco then sold the drugs to others.

Prosecutors said the duo used an encrypted messaging app to plan the thefts. In total, they stole more than $10 million worth of medication.

Hoffman faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted, Checonolasco faces up to 10 years behind bars.


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