Ex-Veterans Hospital Worker Admits Stealing $10M in HIV Meds

A gavel rests on a judge's desk.
A gavel rests on the judge’s bench in the courtroom of the 39th Air Base Wing legal office at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Nov. 14, 2019. (Staff Sgt. Joshua Magbanua/U.S. Air Force)

NEWARK, N.J. — A former pharmacy technician has admitted her role in the theft of roughly $10 million worth of prescription HIV medication from a Veterans Affairs hospital in northern New Jersey, according to federal prosecutors.

Lisa Hoffman, 49, of Orange, pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of government property. She faces up to 10 years in prison when she's sentenced March 9.

Hoffman worked at the hospital in East Orange, where she was responsible for ordering drugs and supplies for the site’s outpatient pharmacy and maintaining its inventory.

From October 2015 through November 2019, prosecutors said Hoffman used her position to steal prescription HIV medication from the hospital. She placed large orders for the medication, purportedly on behalf of the hospital, then stole it after it was delivered, prosecutors said.

Hospital surveillance footage captured Hoffman regularly taking dozens of bottles of HIV medications from the pharmacy shelves and eventually putting them in her bag, then leave the hospital with the stolen medication, prosecutors said.

Hoffman would routinely meet with another conspirator and sell him the stolen medications for cash. The conspirator would then sell the medications to other people.

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