Miami, Florida-area men jailed after drug coupon fraud

Two Kendall men spent seven years – not even stopping during the two years one was in jail – raising $9 million in a scam involving coupons to help people pay for drugs on prescription. They used friends, wives of friends, front companies and pharmacies that only existed on paper.

This scam took William Clero from the suburbs to downtown, like in the federal detention center in Miami, after he was sentenced last week to 17 years and six months in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and a postal fraud. Clero’s partner in his most recent crimes, Cesar Armando Perez Amador, had previously been sentenced to seven years and three months.

Each man was also awarded $9,086,476 in restitution. In confiscation, they lost a 2016 GMC Yukon Denali and a 2018 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali that Perez was driving; a 2017 BMW that a friend of Clero used; and the 2017 and 2019 Cadillac Escalades that Clero drove.

Clero and Perez began their scam in 2014, targeting drugmaker programs that used coupons or savings cards to help people cover out-of-pocket costs for certain prescription drugs.

Fake owners, fake pharmacies, real money

Kendall’s buddies recruited people to be the listed drugstore owners, which they incorporated and licensed by the state of Florida.

“Once licensed, pharmacies would submit claims under the drug savings programs for a period of time and then be replaced by another pharmacy in the same location or another location, all within Miami-Dade County, in the Southern District of Florida,” Clero’s admission of facts states. “Pharmacies didn’t buy prescription drugs to sell, didn’t have real customers presenting real prescriptions, and didn’t do any real, legitimate pharmaceutical business.”

The owners listed opened pharmacy accounts in their names, but Clero and Perez did not allow them access to those accounts.

The first of the pharmacies, AVDrugs, registered with the state in December 2013 and licensed in April 2014, had an address listed at 4993 SW 74th Court, Suite A. If you Google that address now, one of the companies listed as being there is Avalon Pharmacy. State records list Enrique Cubero as president of each.

Clero’s confession reads “EC…was Clero and Perez’s handyman.”

“EC had to relinquish AVdrugs’ license after a Department of Health inspection found it was not operating as a pharmacy,” Clero’s admission continues. “[Clero and Perez] incorporated AV Drug PH in September 2014 and billed the coupon programs under license from AVdrugs.

Clero and Perez didn’t let Clero’s two years in prison for crimes committed in association with Moron Drug & Pharmacy, which the two owned together, slow their fraudulent journey.

While Clero has made time for grand theft, organized fraud, controlled substance fraud, identity use fraud, illegal drug trafficking, fraudulent prescription drug labels and unauthorized prescription drug sales, a Clero’s relative put Moron’s longtime pharmacy technician, “CV,” on the list. owner of the Pharmacy Fenix.

“CV was tasked with doing the day-to-day work of the fraud, i.e. submitting false applications to voucher programs using coupons or savings cards, along with lists of names that she was provided to enter as “patients” into the pharmacy’s billing system,” Clero’s admission states. “CV continued to submit fraudulent claims to coupon programs after Clero’s exit from prison, until the date of the arrest of the defendants on April 1, 2021.”

Fenix ​​state records indicate that “CV” is Carmen Velasquez, a licensed pharmacy technician until December 31, 2016. Those same state records indicate that Osvaldo Acosta took over as president of Fenix after Velasquez. Clero’s admission states that Perez recruited “OA” a longtime friend and then recruited “OA’s wife” to be the designated owner of 26 Pharmacy & Discount.

Perez walked them through opening bank accounts, pharmacy licenses, and “got them to sign blank check books for their respective pharmacies. Clero did the same for ‘RG,’ who according to the records of state, is Raisel Gil, as the nominated owner of Rubi Pharmacy.

Some named owners received $10,000 to $15,000 for allowing a pharmacy to be owned and licensed on their behalf. Others were told that their pharmacy had never been licensed, so they would not receive this money.

Clero and Perez funneled the money from the pharmacies to themselves through a number of front companies, including Green Eagle, Clear Options and Olok Corp.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s scope at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing on the Panthers (NHL and FIU), dolphins, old-school animation, food safety, fraud, lawyers rogues, bad doctors and all sorts of breaking news. He drinks whole coladas. He doesn’t work on Indianapolis 500 race day.

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