A former pharmacy technician was arrested after allegedly stealing approximately $8.2 million worth of prescription HIV medications from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange between August 2017 and November 2019, federal authorities said.
In a criminal complaint, an FBI special agent wrote that Lisa M. Hoffman, placed large orders for HIV medications purportedly for the medical center. After the drugs were delivered, she waited until coworkers were out of sight and took the medicines. Using a search warrant, investigators discovered various HIV medications in Hoffman’s car as she was leaving work, according to the document.
She sold the medications to an associate, Wagner “Wanny” Checonolasco, who resold the pilfered drugs to others, authorities alleged. Hoffman and Checonolasco arranged their transactions using WhatsApp, a messaging app.
Checonolasco, 33, of Lyndhurst, was previously charged with conspiracy to steal government property, according to authorities. His case is still pending.
Hoffman, 50, of Orange, was charged of theft of medical products, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey. She pleaded guilty earlier this year to theft of government property.
According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, Hoffman was sentenced to a term of four years and seven months last week in Newark federal court by U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas.