A New Jersey man has been sentenced for stealing over $8 million worth of HIV medication from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

34-year-old Wagner "Wanny" Checonolasco of Lyndhurst had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to steal government property.

U.S. District Judge Esther Salas sentenced him to 42 months behind bars on Thursday in Newark federal court.

According to court documents,

From August 2017 through Nov. 20, 2019, Checonolasco conspired with Lisa M. Hoffman and others to steal HIV medication belonging to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Hoffman allegedly stole the medication from the pharmacy of her employer, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in East Orange, New Jersey, and then sold the stolen medication to Checonolasco for cash. Hoffman used her position as a procurement official at the VAMC to order large quantities of HIV prescription medications so that she could steal the excess medication and then sell it to Checonolasco, who then resold it for a profit.

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U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger says Checonolasco and Hoffman stole nearly $8.2 million worth of HIV medication.

In addition to the prison term, Checolonasco was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $8.2 million.

Hoffman, of Orange, NJ, previously pleaded guilty to her role in the scheme and will be sentenced next month.

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