Monday, October 26, 2020

Pharmaceutical firm Insys execs to be sentenced in opioid bribery case

-

The founder and former top employees of the Insys Therapeutics pharmaceutical company are facing a reckoning for their role in a bribery scheme that prosecutors say boosted sales of a powerful, highly addictive painkiller and helped fuel the national opioid epidemic.

Starting Monday, seven people who worked for Insys Therapeutics will appear in Boston to be sentenced by a federal judge.

The case against company founder John Kapoor and his associates was considered the first that sought to hold an opioid maker and its executives criminally liable for the drug crisis that’s claimed nearly 400,000 lives over two decades.

At least two other companies, a drug distributor in New York and another in Ohio, have since been hit with criminal charges. But prominent industry names — specifically OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family that owns it — have only faced lawsuits, which carry no threat of prison time, so far.

- Advertisement -

Prosecutors say officials at Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics paid millions of dollars in bribes to doctors across the country so they would overprescribe Subsys, a fentanyl-based oral spray meant to ease intense pain suffered by cancer patients.

Insys Therapeutics also deployed other questionable marketing tactics, according to prosecutors. One sales executive, who prosecutors said used to be an exotic dancer, gave a physician a lap dance at a club. And the company misled insurers to get payment for the drug, which cost as much as $19,000 a month.

Following a lengthy trial, Kapoor and four others were convicted last year of racketeering conspiracy. Two other defendants pleaded guilty.

Shortly after, the company reached a $225 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to end its criminal and civil probes.

- Advertisement -

Insys Therapeutics has since filed for bankruptcy protection. The company has been approved to sell off Subsys and its other drugs for about $30 million, but it maintains its assets, all told, are worth only $175 million.

While the defendants can face up to 20 years for the charges, prosecutors are seeking 15 years for Kapoor, arguing the former billionaire was the “fulcrum” of the scheme, according to recent court filings.

Kapoor’s lawyers counter their client was portrayed as a “caricature” of a mob boss but is really the “consummate immigrant success story.”

They say in their filings that the India-born exec developed Subsys after seeing his wife suffer and die from breast cancer. They’re seeking no more than a year and a day in prison for Kapoor.

For the other defendants, U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling’s office is seeking sentences ranging from five to 11 years.

Michael Gurry, an Arizona resident who was a company vice president, will be the first sentenced on Jan. 13. Kapoor faces sentencing Jan. 23.

MUST READ

Julius Baer to deny two former CEOs their bonuses over money laundering scandal

Julius Baer will withhold millions of francs in bonuses from its former chief executives Boris Collardi and Bernhard Hodler, as a result of a...

Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Goldman to pay over $2 billion in DOJ’s 1MDB Probe

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has reached a long-awaited pact with the U.S. Department of Justice to pay more than $2 billion for the bank’s...

UK regulators fine Goldman Sachs £97 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs International has been fined £96.6m by UK regulators for risk management failures connected to the 1MDB scandal. The Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential...

Former Columbus mayor Eisenga charged with bank fraud

A former Columbus mayor and businessman who was once at the center of a controversial bill aimed at reducing child support payments for wealthy...

Judge opposed dismissal of bribery charge against former Portage mayor Synder

A judge denied Thursday two motions to dismiss a soliciting bribes charge former Portage Mayor James Snyder will be retried on, according to court...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks