The drugs likely were "purchased from numerous street sources willing to sell their prescription drugs for pennies on the dollar," state officials said in a search warrant. "A&J Trading is a front company and ... Brazil is using A&J's business account to launder proceeds of its illegal operation."
A&J is still open, but Benitez is missing and a fugitive. He violated his federal probation last year by testing positive for cocaine and not showing up at a court-ordered program, federal court records show.
Contacted on his cell phone, Benitez said he would consult his attorney, then said neither he nor his wife would comment.
Laurence D. and Adam P. Runsdorf
The father and son from Boca Raton have been a pharmaceutical team for a decade, and in recent years took in millions as wholesalers. Documents show they were a conduit for counterfeit drugs reaching the drug supply.
Laurence Runsdorf, 63, a career executive in the industry, started the drug manufacturing firm Breckenridge Inc. in 1983 in New Jersey. He moved it in 1992 to Boca Raton, where he lives in a $1.3 million home. His son Adam, 38, was an executive at the company.
Adam Runsdorf got into the wholesale drug trade by opening Stone Group in the same building as Breckenridge.
Stone Group bought drugs with false paperwork from unlicensed sellers, including millions worth at Carlow's house, documents show. Adam resold drugs to his father's company. Breckenridge was a valuable buyer, Runsdorf said in an interview, because it had a contract to sell drugs to giant Amerisource.
State inspectors found 37 invoices from 2001 and 2002 in which Stone Group sold $3.8 million of drugs to Breckenridge. The father's firm then resold the shipments to Amerisource subsidiaries in Alabama, Texas and Kentucky that handle cancer drugs.
At least one of the shipments had a lot number identified as being 5 percent strength but that was relabeled as full-strength.
The shipment's paperwork proved phony, concealing the true source of the drugs. Most likely, officials said, the drugs ultimately went to patients.
The state has moved to revoke the wholesale licenses of Stone Group and Breckenridge; the companies are challenging the actions.
Adam Runsdorf said he had no idea he was buying fake drugs, that the sellers tricked him. "The company that originated the product was out to defraud. It was clearly a premeditated course of action. We were naive and purchased a number of [tainted] products," he said.
His father got involved in the sales only as a favor to him, Runsdorf said, because Amerisource did not have an agreement to buy from the son's firm.
Eddie Mor and Carlos Luis
In Texas, Mor and Luis operate quiet, little pharmaceutical firms. In South Florida, where they live, they are under investigation on suspicion of making and peddling millions of dollars of bogus medications.
The state identifies Mor, 45, and Luis, 56, as a source of 5 percent strength Procrit relabeled as full-strength and sold to national, mainstream distributors. Authorities stumbled onto them by accident.
In April 2002, an undercover agent bought 100 boxes of injectable Epogen (identical to Procrit) and 17 of growth hormone for $509,000 from a Pembroke Pines wholesaler who was under investigation. The Epogen tested fake, documents show.
The wholesaler's records said he got the drugs from Mor's Express RX in Dallas, which got it from Luis's Medex International in Houston. But Florida officials found those offices inactive, with the firms run from South Florida.
A few weeks later, a major regional distributor, Bindley Western, discovered $1.7 million of fake Procrit in a Texas warehouse. The paperwork traced the drugs to the Mor and Luis firms.
Former convicts try a safer venture: Pharmaceuticals
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