Thirty-two people involved in a racketeering enterprise that spanned from California, Minnesota, Ohio and Puerto Rico have been arrested on fraud and money laundering charges. The defendants were involved in various criminal activities, including the illicit distribution of prescription drugs, a Justice Department news release announced on May 7. A thirty-third individual remains at large.
The multimillion dollar prescription drug diversion scheme involved prescription drugs obtained from unlicensed sources and the sale of these drugs to unknowing customers. The defendants also were involved in a massive check and bank fraud operation, conspiring to commit murder-for-hire, and money laundering, among other crimes. In an effort to conceal the illicit proceeds, the defendants made payments to shell companies they controlled in Puerto Rico. If found guilty, the defendants face prison sentences, possible periods of supervised release, fines, and special assessments.