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OxyContin big pharma kingpins hid cash in Swiss bank accounts, NY AG says

2019-09-14

The family that owns one of the world’s most notorious opioid manufacturers concealed the funneling of millions of dollars from their company, Purdue Pharma, to family-controlled Swiss bank accounts, the New York Attorney General claimed in court papers Friday.

AG Letitia James said in the court filing that her office has documented the transfer of at least $1 billion between Purdue and the Sackler family, which controls it — possibly suggesting that the pharma barons are attempting to shield their assets.

James is pushing for people connected to the case to be compelled to provide documents that would shed light on their dealings with the Sacklers.

“How the Sacklers moved and tried to hide their money will be key evidence of the liability of all of the participants,” a lawyer with the attorney general wrote the judge.

Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers face millions of dollars in penalties over the improper distribution of the drug OxyContin, a powerful opioid that’s been responsible for thousands of deaths in recent years.

Nearly half the states in the U.S. and scores of towns and cities have come to a tentative agreement to settle claims against the company, but attorneys general from most states — New York among them — are resisting a deal.

James and other AGs who are against it point to the Sacklers siphoning more than $4 billion from Purdue since 2007 and then parking it in offshore bank accounts to shelter it from claims.

The transactions James has focused on, according to court papers, include millions of dollars transferred from a Purdue umbrella company to Mortimer Sackler, a former board member. Much of that cash was then sent to Manhattan and Long Island shell companies controlled by the family.

With News Wire Services