The family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma used Swiss and other hidden accounts to transfer $US1 billion ($1.45 billion) to themselves, New York state’s attorney general contends in court papers filed Friday.
New York – asking a judge to enforce subpoenas of companies, banks and advisers to Purdue and its owners, the Sackler family – said it has uncovered the previously unknown wire transfers among family members, entities they control and several financial institutions.
The transfers bolster allegations by New York and other states that the Sacklers worked to shield their wealth in recent years because of mounting worries about legal threats.
Scores of those transactions sent millions of dollars to Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a former member of Purdue’s board and son of one of its founders, according to the filings.
They point to $US20 million shifted from a Purdue parent company to Sackler, who then redirected substantial amounts to shell companies that own family homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons. Another $US64 million in transfers to Sackler came from a previously unknown family trust, using a Swiss account, prosecutors said in their filing.
Representatives for the branch of the family that includes Mortimer D.A. Sackler did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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 US communities with prescription painkillers.
As part of the settlement, Purdue is likely to soon file for bankruptcy protection. But New York and other states have promised they will continue to pursue the Sacklers, alleging that family members drained more than $US4 billion from the company over the past dozen years.