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CVS employee from Williamsville arrested for thefts worth $2.5 million

A Williamsville man was arrested for the theft of medical products valued at more than $2.5 million from his employer in Rochester, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York announced.

Antonio Rivera, 35, faces several charges after being arrested in Rochester Friday. Rivera, a senior assistant purchasing associate for CVS Pharmacy since 2007, allegedly ordered excessive amounts of diabetic test strips, then intercepted the shipments and sold them to third-party purchasers for personal profit.

Prosecutors say an internal audit by CVS could not account for 20,203 boxes of diabetic strips purchased by Rivera, which amounted to a financial loss of $2,535,307.62.

Rivera is charged 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.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that Rivera's position as a purchasing associate required Rivera to order a variety of retail products sold by CVS, including diabetic test strips.

The complaint alleges that in July 2018, CVS' internal systems red-flagged the purchasing of diabetic test strips at the Humboldt Street CVS office. 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 did not do business, prosecutors say. A subsequent internal investigation by CVS determined that Rivera routinely purchased diabetic test strips in excessive amounts.

The complaint states that Rivera then sold the stolen products to third-party purchasers identified as National Medical Management and HMF Distributing Inc., and a forensic accounting of Rivera’s bank accounts identified payments for the fraudulently obtained diabetic test strips were deposited into his bank accounts.

The defendant made an initial appearance Friday 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 and the New York State Department of Financial Services.

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