Purdue pleads guilty to criminal charges in opioid case

Nov. 24, 2020

According to a Reuters report, Purdue Pharma have pleaded guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its OxyContin. During a court hearing conducted remotely before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in New Jersey, Purdue pleaded guilty to three felonies covering widespread misconduct related to the prescription painkiller.

The criminal violations included conspiring to defraud U.S. officials and pay illegal kickbacks to both doctors and an electronic healthcare records vendor.

Purdue Chairman Steve Miller entered the guilty plea on the company’s behalf with the Sackler family not present at the hearing, having not been criminally charged.

Purdue’s plea deal carries more than $5.5 billion in penalties, most of which will go unpaid. A $3.54 billion criminal fine is set to be considered alongside trillions of dollars in unsecured claims as part of Purdue’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Purdue have agreed to pay $225 million toward a $2 billion criminal forfeiture, meanwhile, with the Justice Department foregoing the rest if the company completes a bankruptcy reorganization dissolving itself and shifting assets to a “public benefit company” that steers the $1.775 billion unpaid portion to the communities suing Purdue.

Read the Reuters report