Prescription drug diversion scheme unraveling; another conspirator pleads guilty

After participating in a large-scale nationwide prescription drug diversion scheme, Vin Nguyen of Corona, California, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. “Illegal prescription drug diversion threatens the security of America’s drug supply chain,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer. “The Department of Justice will continue to protect American consumers by prosecuting those who engage in prescription drug diversion.”

Drug diversion scheme

From May 2010 through December 2012, Nguyen and others conspired to distribute illegally diverted prescription drugs while concealing the true, illicit sources of the drugs. As part of the scheme, Nguyen purchased prescription drug—including HIV medications, anti-psychotic medications and other brand name drugs—from various unlicensed and illegal sources in California and Florida. Nguyen and his co-conspirators then sold the drugs to other drug diverters without the statutorily required pedigree documents stating the origin of the drugs. According to the Department of Justice (DoJ), Nguyen and his co-conspirators sold more than $6.5 million worth of diverted drugs.

When selling drugs, Nguyen and his co-conspirators used the company name “Modern Medical,” which is the name of a real California company that had no involvement in the drug sales. The DoJ said that the conspirators “hijacked” the name to conceal their involvement and the sources of their drugs.

Co-conspirators

David Miller and his company, Minnesota Independent Cooperative (MIC) purchased diverted prescription drugs from Nguyen and others from December 2011 through December 2012. Miller and MIC were indicted and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, 10 counts of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy to make false statements and to distribute prescription drugs without a wholesale license. Those charges remain pending.

Miller and MIC allegedly created fraudulent pedigree documents falsely stating that they had purchased the drugs from B&Y Wholesale, a Puerto Rico company. The false documents covered up the illegitimate sources of the drugs and falsely stated that B&Y Wholesale was an authorized distributor of the prescription drugs.

On February 19, 2015, Yusef Yassin Gomez, the owner of B&Y Wholesale, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs without a wholesale license for his role in the conspiracy.