REVEALED: The Sackler family behind OxyContin ‘hid a billion dollars and siphoned it into secret accounts so the courts would not be aware of their true worth in opioid settlement case’
- New York State Attorney General’s office revealed the transfers on Monday
- Officials tracked about $1 billion in wire transfers by the Sackler family
- Some were routed through Swiss bank accounts, according to court filings
- Sackler family made their fortune from OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma
Members of the Sackler family, notorious for making their wealth through OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, used Swiss bank accounts to conceal millions in transfers from the company to themselves, according to new court filings.
The New York attorney general’s office said Friday that it had tracked about $1 billion in wire transfers by the Sackler family, including several million through Swiss bank accounts.
Those transactions include millions shifted from a Purdue parent company to former board member Mortimer D.A. Sackler, prosecutors said in the papers.
The Swiss transactions include millions shifted from a Purdue parent company to former board member Mortimer D.A. Sackler (above) prosecutors said
In one case, $64 million was transferred in 2009 from a previously unknown trust called Purdue Pharma Trust MDAS, through a Swiss bank account, and then to Sackler, the filing said.
Transfers to Sackler from another trust, called Heatheridge Trust Company Limited, were also routed through the same Swiss account, the filing said, while some transfers from a third trust, called Millborne Trust Company Limited, were routed through a different Swiss bank account.
Prosecutors say Sackler also redirected substantial amounts to shell companies that own family homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons.
The filing, made in a New York court, follows decisions by that state and others to reject a tentative settlement with Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue, announced this week, arguing it does not do enough to make amends for the company’s and family’s alleged roles in flooding U.S. communities with prescription painkillers.
New York, Massachusetts and others contend that the Sacklers drained more than $4 billion from Purdue since 2007, moving much of it offshore to avoid future claims.
In its filing Friday, New York told a state judge that the only way it can determine the full extent of those transfers is if all those it has subpoenaed are forced to provide documents detailing their interactions with the Sackler family.
The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (seen in a file photo) revealed the new allegations in court filings on Friday
‘It is elementary, however, that how the Sacklers moved and tried to hide their money will be key evidence of the liability of all of the participants,’ a lawyer for the attorney general wrote the judge.
AG Letitia James said in a statement: ‘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.
‘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.’
Purdue’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin, a highly addictive painkiller, has been cited by some as a driving force behind the opioid epidemic.
Earlier this week, the Sackler family agreed to relinquish control of Purdue and donate $3billion of their personal wealth to battling the national opioid crisis as part of a tentative agreement to settle the landmark lawsuit against them.
The agreement was reached Wednesday between their lawyers and most of the 22 state attorney generals and 2,000 counties which are suing them.
Some of the state attorney generals vowed to sue the family separately regardless of the deal.