Earlier this week, Purdue Pharma, run by the Sackler family, was sued by thousands of municipal governments, as well as almost half of the states, due to its role in the opioid epidemic. This epidemic has been killing 150 people a day, and as a result, the settlement would have the family pay $3 billion dollars and force them to stop selling the drug OxyContin.
Along with these lawsuits was an investigation into 33 financial institutions that have affiliations with the Sackler family. Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, found this in just one of the banks looked at:
“Records from one financial institution alone have shown approximately $1 billion in wire transfers between the Sacklers, entities they control, and different financial institutions, including those that have funneled funds into Swiss bank accounts."
Forbes believes that the company is most likely worth up to $13 billion, which means that this legislation will not affect the family as much as it should. The main issue comes from the fact that many states’ attorneys general and other prosecutors believe that the family is hiding a lot more money in a lot more ways.
All of this is not stopping Purdue and the Sacklers from trying to eliminate as many claims against them as possible. With a lawyer for Purdue claiming that the subpoenas into their financials are:
“premature, facially defective, overbroad... harassing, and an improper attempt to avoid the rules and procedures governing party discovery.”
This just goes to show that Purdue Pharma and the Sacklers are worrying more about the money in the bank than trying to get justice for the millions of people harmed or killed by the opioid crisis. That is the only reason that I can think of for why they are trying to downplay their involvement in these deaths and the issues their product has caused.
The US Attorney General is using this information to try to get more information from other institutions. This one bank has found a couple more accounts that may be associated with the Sacklers that was otherwise unknown.
David E Nachman of the Attorney General’s office has mentioned other accounts as well:
“Already, these records have allowed the state to identify previously unknown shell companies that one of the Sackler defendants used to shift Purdue money through accounts around the world and then conceal it in at least two separate multimillion-dollar real estate investments back here in New York, sanitized (until now) of any readily detectable connections to the Sackler family.”
Oxycontin is Finished
Thankfully, part of the settlement demands the Purdue Pharma will have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This means that while Purdue has a chance of returning from the ashes, their finances will no longer be able to be moved away from Purdue. So the Sacklers will no longer be able to profit off of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
It is still unclear whether the Sacklers themselves will be charged with anything, but in my personal opinion, they should be jailed for their role in this. I guess this goes to show that if you have enough money, you can get away with pretty much anything. Their role in this crisis means that they are a danger, and should be monitored to make sure that they cannot do this again.
However, only time will tell if this will be able to stop them from just pursuing another dangerous marketing practice. Since it is clear that this family has only ever cared about money and clout, they will need to be monitored.
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