SAN FRANCISCO—Hakob Kojoyan, 29, on March 24, was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to forfeit his residence because he participated in a scheme that involved the unlicensed wholesale distribution of prescription drugs, says federal prosecutors.

The U.S. Department of Justice indicated that Kojoyan admitted to illegally distributing prescription medications to “unsuspecting purchasers.”

“In his plea agreement, Kojoyan stated that he and his associates used a Pennsylvania company, Mainspring Distribution LLC (Mainspring), to pose as legitimate prescription drug wholesalers,” said the authorities.

After obtaining the prescriptions from “unlicensed, black market sources in California,” the authorities say Kojoyan would sell the medicines “through Mainspring to unknowing wholesale customers, falsely representing that the drugs were legitimately sourced from licensed suppliers.”

According to authorities, Kojoyan and his associates “avoided dealing in generic drugs and instead specialized in expensive name-brand prescription drugs used to treat HIV, such as Atripla.  Kojoyan himself also supplied prescription drugs for such resale, though he had no license to do so.”

The federal prosecutors noted that Kojoyan and his associates knew about the federal regulations that were specifically designed “to protect vulnerable patients, and they worked diligently to evade them.”

An example the authorities provided was that Kojoyan participated in stealing the identity of a licensed prescription drug company supplier and prepared paperwork that “falsely” suggested their medicines came from that particular supplier.

“They further mimicked the appearance of a legitimate supply chain by opening bank accounts in names misleadingly similar to the licensed supplier and routing the proceeds of their fraudulent sales through the accounts,” said the federal government.

The federal prosecutors noted that bank accounts under Kojoyan’s control, received $2.2 million from Mainspring-associated accounts, “much of which was laundered and distributed to co-conspirators.”

According to the federal prosecutors, Kojoyan took the money and purchased a home in Palm Springs, California.

The U.S. Department of Justice indicated that Kojoyan was charged with and pled guilty to unlicensed wholesale distribution of prescription drugs on July 15, 2020.

“In addition to sentencing Kojoyan to a prison term of 33 months and ordering the forfeiture of his Palm Springs house,” the federal prosecutors noted. “U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg also sentenced Kojoyan to a three-year period of supervised release to follow his prison term.”

The government noted that Kojoyan remains out of custody on bond and will serve his sentence starting on June 2, 2021.