Two plead guilty in prescription scheme
Two pharmaceutical drug distributors pleaded guilty to taking part in a $42 million conspiracy to illegally import and sell the cholesterol reduction drug Lipitor and other medicines, the Associated Press reports. Richard K. Rounsborg, 48, of Kearney, Neb., and Albert David Nassar, 51, of New York, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Rounsborg owned and operated Med-Pro Inc., a Lexington, Neb., company that repackaged pharmaceutical drugs for distribution in the secondary wholesale market. Nassar was a co-owner of Worldwide Pharmaceuticals, which bought and sold drugs in the secondary market. U.S. Attorney Bradley Schlozman said members of the conspiracy bought Lipitor intended for distribution in South America, then illegally imported it into the United States to sell it at a lower cost than Lipitor made for the U.S. market. The Lipitor bought and sold by the conspirators was not manufactured by Pfizer, which makes Lipitor for distribution in the U.S. The scheme lasted from February 2002 through at least April 2003, Schlozman said. Nassar pleaded guilty to paying $3.3 million for pharmaceutical drugs that had been stolen from a warehouse in Miami and then distributing them. Rounsborg and Nassar could get five years in federal prison. No sentencing date has been set.