SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico's health secretary says the department will pay a multi-million dollar penalty owed to the U.S. government following accusations that it misused federal funds slated for an HIV program.
Health secretary Lorenzo Gonzalez said late Monday that he reduced a $29.5 million debt to $7.2 million in an agreement with federal officials.
The U.S. had sued Puerto Rico for using federal funds to buy HIV medication instead of investing the money in other services under the Ryan White program as intended. As a result, the U.S. territory was fined $24.5 million and $5 million in interest. The debt stems from the years 2002-2004.
U.S. officials said the medication should have been bought with local funds.