A lawyer who resides in Santa Ana, owns a business in Tustin and heads a drug wholesaling cooperative in Minnesota is among 33 people who have been indicted for an alleged $150 million scam to sell illegal pharmaceuticals across the country, allege federal prosecutors in Northern California.
David Jess Miller--a licensed attorney in California since 1991, owner of the legal services business E-Tail of Tustin and leader of the Minnesota Independent Cooperative that has supplied around $400 million in prescription drugs to retail pharmacies around the U.S.--is also the subject of a similar federal indictment in Ohio.
The California allegations claims the 50-year-old knowingly obtained $157 million in drugs illegally through various shell companies from 2010-14, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco. That indictment further accuses him of directing his employees to doctor invoices to hide the fact he'd illegally obtained the drugs, which included painkillers and other medications used to treat HIV or cancer that the cooperative sold.
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The Northern California indictment was unsealed Friday. The day before, federal prosecutors in Ohio unsealed a separate indictment that accuses Miller of procuring and distributing drugs illegally there from 2007-'14, using suppliers from the Golden State, Florida and other states.
The Ohio indictment also names Mihran Stepanyan, 29, and Artur Stepanyan, 38, both of Glendale, of being among Miller's suppliers, and identifies Ara Karapedyan, 45, of Northridge, and Gevork Ter-Mkrtchyan as being part of a related murder-for-hire plot. The Stepanyans and Karapedyan are also alleged to be central to the California conspiracy, the Frisco office claims.
Miller, who faces counts of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs without a license, could get prison time and the forfeiture of his Santa Ana home and a Tustin office building if he is convicted. But he does have history in his favor: He was among a ring of people indicted in 2009 for conspiracy, mail and wire fraud and illegal resale of prescription drugs, but all those counts against him were dropped four years later.