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Feds Sentenced Orange NJ Pharmacy Technician for Stealing HIV Medicine


A former pharmacy procurement technician was sentenced today to 57 months in prison for stealing prescription HIV medications from the pharmacy of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Orange, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Federal officials said Lisa M. Hoffman, 50, of Orange, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to Count 2 of an indictment charging her with theft of government property. Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From October 2015 through November 2019, Hoffman was a procurement officer at the VAMC, who used her authority to order medication for the outpatient pharmacy, including ordering large quantities of HIV medication.

In exchange for cash, Hoffman admitted that she stole HIV prescription medications from the VAMC pharmacy and sold it to her conspirator, Wagner Checonolasco, 35, of Lyndhurst. Checonolasco previously admitted to conspiring with Hoffman to steal HIV medication belonging to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The loss amount was more than $8.2 million.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Hoffman to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $8.29 million and forfeiture of $450,000.

Checonolasco previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to steal government property and was sentenced in February 2022 to 42 months in prison.