Two days after news that OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma and the billionaire Sackler family that owns it were poised to ink a $10 billion to $12 billion deal to settle thousands of opioid lawsuits, authorities announced they discovered about $1 billion in wire transfers made between the Sacklers, the entities they control, and various financial institutions, including offshore accounts. The lawsuits were brought by local municipalities, tribes, and states that are suing the drug company and its owners for allegedly creating a national opioid epidemic.
Plaintiffs say that the wire transfers are proof the family is trying to move some of their fortune in order to protect their wealth ahead of the proposed settlement. The New York attorney general’s office said it is trying to determine where the family is stashing its money and just how much money it has.
“While the Sacklers continue to lowball victims and skirt a responsible settlement, we refuse to allow the family to misuse the courts in an effort to shield their financial misconduct,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a written statement. “The limited number of documents provided to us so far underscore the necessity for compliance with every subpoena.”
Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a former Purdue board member, was mentioned frequently in documents as having received millions of dollars in wire transfers. Sackler, in a statement to CNN, called the transfers “nothing newsworthy” and “perfectly legal and appropriate in every respect.”
“This is a cynical attempt by a hostile AG’s office to generate defamatory headlines to try to torpedo a mutually beneficial settlement that is supported by so many other states and would result in billions of dollars going to communities and individuals across the country that help,” he said.
Beasley Allen has an Opioid Litigation Team that includes these lawyers: Rhon Jones, Parker Miller, Ryan Kral, Rick Stratton, Will Sutton and Jeff Price. This team represents the State of Alabama, the State of Georgia, and numerous local governments, as well as other entities in the MDL.