New York state sent out dozens of subpoenas to entities linked to Purdue Pharma LP and its billionaire owners, the Sackler family, seeking documents that may show the movement of millions of dollars in profit from sales of the highly addictive Oxycontin painkillers.
The subpoenas from New York Attorney General Letitia James were sent as part of the state’s lawsuit accusing Purdue and the Sacklers of triggering an epidemic of opioid abuse with excessive marketing of Oxycontin.
The transfers from Purdue’s entities to the Sacklers’ entities “should be returned to Purdue for the benefit of its creditors, including the state,” officials from James’s office said in a letter to a judge, seeking help in serving the subpoenas on entities in the British Virgin Islands and Jersey, U.K.
The suit in New York, which James said is the most extensive of its kind in the U.S., adds to the potentially massive legal liability that has led Purdue to threaten filing for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, states and local governments have targeted the Sackler family’s wealth in an effort to recoup billions spent on the social costs of opioid addiction.
“The New York attorney general settled with Purdue for $75,000 in 2015 after conducting an investigation into alleged deceptive advertising and business practices,” a representative of the Sackler family said in an emailed statement. “The attorney general’s current claims are without merit and the subpoenas are improper.”
James said the Sackler family would be held responsible for its actions.
“The opioid epidemic has ravaged American communities for over a decade, while a single family has made billions profiting from death and destruction,” James said in a statement. “We won’t let up until we have delivered justice.”
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