15th person pleads guilty in connection with wholesaler prescription scheme

Another individual has been sentenced in connection to an ongoing investigation into a pharmaceutical prescription scheme centered around Wholesale Supply LLC, according to a July 25 Department of Justice news release.

Eladio Vega, 37, was sentenced July 24 to 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic misbranded and adulterated drugs.

Mr. Vega is the 15th individual connected to the investigation to plead guilty and was the 17th to be indicted. 

According to the FDA, the company's "scheme involved a division of labor, in which street-level dealers obtained the medicines and supplied them to participants who inspected, cleaned, and packaged the drugs for shipment to others with established pharmaceutical wholesale companies," a July 25 release states. "The wholesale company owners prepared fraudulent documentation, falsely representing that legitimate drug manufacturers had provided the medications to them. In fact, the suppliers had acquired the drugs through health care fraud, theft or burglary, or by buying the medications from patients who obtained prescriptions but chose to sell them rather than take their medicines."

When profits were made, steps were taken by individuals involved in the scheme to route the money through several shell companies to conceal what was going on. 

The corporation defendant was forced to pay a penalty of $78 million for its role in the money laundering conspiracy.

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