Owners of Purdue Pharma that makes OxyContin drug used Swiss and other hidden accounts to transfer $1 billion to themselves, contended New York’s attorney general in court papers filed on Friday. New York claimed that it has uncovered entities they control, several financial institutions and the previously unknown wire transfers among members of the Sackler family. New York, along with other states, has alleged that the Sacklers worked to shield their wealth in recent years because of mounting worries about legal threats and the recent revelation of transfer bolster their allegations. According to the filings, millions of dollars were sent to Mortimer D.A. Sackler, who is a former member of Purdue’s board and a son of one of its founders.
The filings point to $20 million that was shifted from a Purdue parent company to Sackler who, in turn, redirected substantial amounts to shell companies. Interestingly, the shell companies own family homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons. The prosecutor, through the filing, also claimed that another $64 million was transferred to Sackler from a previously unknown family trust. The transfer was made through a Swiss account, said the prosecutor.
Earlier, the New York state and others had rejected the tentative settlement made with Stamford-based Purdue claiming that the settlement does not do enough to make amends for the company’s and family’s alleged role in flooding U.S. communities with prescription painkillers. Mortimer D.A. Sackler’s spokesperson said that the attorney general’s contention was an attempt 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 need help.”
While the New York and other states said that they will continue to pursue the Sacklers, Purdue is likely to file for bankruptcy protection soon. They reasoned that the family members allegedly drained more than $4 billion from the company over the past dozen years. Offshore tax havens were used by the family to control their holdings through a complex chain of companies and trusts. “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. The limited number of documents provided to us so far underscores the necessity for compliance with every subpoena,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a prepared statement.