Authorities have identified approximately $1 billion in wire transfers between the owners of pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma and different financial institutions, New York Attorney General Letitia James said Friday.
Finding out about the wire transfers comes in the midst of growing allegations by New York and other states that the Sackler family is moving billions of dollars offshore to protect their wealth. It also comes after two days ago there was a proposed settlement by Purdue Pharma to thousands of states, counties, cities and tribal governments in their ongoing lawsuit accusing the company of fueling the nation’s opioid epidemic.
The New York attorney general’s office is now attempting to determine how much money the Sacklers have amassed and where it is. Some of the wire transfers were funneled through Swiss bank accounts, and this information was released as part of a new court filing by Attorney General James in the ongoing lawsuit.
“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,” James said in a written statement. “The limited number of documents provided to us so far underscore the necessity for compliance with every subpoena.”
Millions of dollars in wire transfers involving Mortimer D.A. Sackler, a former Purdue board member, were mentioned throughout the new document.
In a statement to CNN, Sackler said “there is nothing newsworthy about these decade-old transfers, which were perfectly legal and appropriate in every respect.
“This is a cynical attempt by a hostile AG’s office to generate defamatory headlines to try 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,” Sackler said.
The Sacklers and Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, have fought to limit discovery and subpoena action by the attorney general’s office.