The United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Florida, February 4, 2022
Miami, Florida – Today, William Clero, 45 and Cesar Armando Perez Amador, 52, residents of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Miami for their participation in a $9 million scheme to defraud prescription drug cost-saving coupon programs offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers. At sentencing, which will be scheduled before U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, Clero and Perez each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
According to court documents, beginning in 2014 through April 2021, Clero and Perez established numerous retail pharmacies in Miami-Dade County that purported to provide prescription drugs to individuals with private health insurance plans or without health insurance coverage. In court, Clero and Perez admitted that they and others conspired to defraud prescription drug cost-saving coupon programs by causing the submission of false and fraudulent claims to those programs resulting in more than $9 million in payments. The government tied 21 pharmacies to the defendants’ scheme, which pharmacies existed only to transmit the false and fraudulent claims. The pharmacies did not have real customers or prescriptions, and did not dispense medications.
To conceal their involvement in the scheme, Clero and Perez recruited nominee or “straw” owners for each pharmacy and listed them on corporate records, bank records, and other business documents. Clero and Perez also admitted that they transferred most of the proceeds of the scheme to shell companies they controlled and diverted large amounts of money for their personal use and benefit.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Anthony Salisbury, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Miami Filed Office, announced the guilty plea.
HSI Miami investigated the case. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aimee C. Jimenez and Ana Maria Martinez. Assistant U.S. Attorney Annika Miranda is handling asset forfeiture.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 21-cr-20112.