CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Antonio Rivera, 35, of Williamsville, NY, was arrested and charged by complaint with theft of pre-retail medical products; trafficking in stolen pre-retail medical products; conspiracy to sell and distribute stolen pre-retail medical products; and wire fraud. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, since February 2007, the defendant was employed as a Senior Assistant Purchasing Associate for CVS Pharmacy. This position required Rivera to order a variety of retail products sold by CVS, including diabetic test strips.
In July, 2018, CVS's internal systems red flagged the purchasing of diabetic test strips at the Humboldt CVS location in Rochester, NY. A package located in the store’s shipping area did not have a CVS label, included Rivera’s return address, and came from a company with which CVS does not do business. A subsequent internal investigation by CVS determined that Rivera routinely purchased diabetic test strips in excessive amounts, well over the need for the Humboldt location. The audit could not account for 20,203 boxes purchased by Rivera, for a total financial loss of approximately $2,535,307.62.
The complaint states that the defendant ordered the excessive amounts of diabetic test strips and then intercepted the shipments once they arrived. He then sold the stolen product to third party purchasers identified as National Medical Management and HMF Distributing Inc. A forensic accounting of Rivera’s bank accounts identified payments for the fraudulently obtained diabetic test strips were deposited into the defendant’s bank accounts.
The defendant made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and was released.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the New York State Department of Financial Services, under the direction of Superintendent Maria T. Vullo.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.