Drug firm founder pleads not guilty to opioid bribe scheme

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2017 file photo, Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor leaves U.S. District Court in Phoenix. He had been charged with leading a conspiracy to bribe doctors to prescribe an opioid pain medication for people who didn't need it. Kapoor is scheduled for arraignment Thursday, Nov. 16, in federal court Boston. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2017 file photo, Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor, center, is escorted from U.S. District Court in Phoenix. He had been charged with leading a conspiracy to bribe doctors to prescribe an opioid pain medication for people who didn't need it. Kapoor is scheduled for arraignment Thursday, Nov. 16, in federal court Boston. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

BOSTON — A pharmaceutical company founder accused of leading a conspiracy to bribe doctors to prescribe a powerful opioid pain medication will fight the charges against him and believes he will be vindicated, his attorney said Thursday.

John Kapoor, of Insys Therapeutics Inc., pleaded not guilty in Boston's federal courthouse, and his lawyer urged the judge to allow him to remove an electronic monitoring bracelet while he awaits trial. Attorney Brian Kelly said Kapoor isn't a flight risk and wants to clear his name in court.

"He's not going to desert the USA because of this case," Kelly told the judge. "He doesn't believe it's a strong case. He wants to fight this case."

The case centers on a highly addictive fentanyl spray that's made by Insys Therapeutics, a specialty pharmaceutical company whose corporate offices are in Chandler, Arizona.

Kapoor, 74, and other Insys executives and managers are charged with offering kickbacks to doctors to write large numbers of prescriptions for the potent opioid that's meant for cancer patients called Subsys. Former CEO Michael L. Babich and others are set to go to trial next year and have pleaded not guilty.

The charges against Kapoor of racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy each carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison upon conviction. Conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback laws calls for up to five years in prison.

Kapoor, who appeared in court on Thursday in a suit and tie, has been free on $1 million bail since he was arrested by a dozen armed agents in his home state of Arizona last month, according to his attorney. He emigrated from India decades ago, is now a U.S. citizen and handed over his passport to authorities after his arrest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Yeager said prosecutors fear he will flee the country, adding that they believe he has access to at least $2 billion.

The judge didn't immediately issue a ruling Thursday on whether to remove Kapoor's GPS monitoring requirement.

___

Follow Alanna Durkin Richer at http://twitter.com/aedurkinricher. Read more of her work at http://bit.ly/2hIhzDb

People also read these

In setback for Brazil's Rousseff, Senate puts her...

Aug 10, 2016

Brazil's Senate has voted overwhelmingly to put suspended President Dilma Rousseff on trial for...

Former aide in text: Christie 'flat out lied' in...

Aug 10, 2016

According to a new court filing, a former aide to Chris Christie texted to a colleague that the New...

Rowing canceled as skies darken over Rio Olympics

Aug 10, 2016

Rowers packed up their oars for the day while cyclists hit slippery roads on skinny time-trial...

Outburst of shooting stars up to 200 mph -...

Aug 10, 2016

Get set for an outburst of shooting stars that could peak at up to 200 meteors per hour

Sept. 11 memorial motorcycle ride ending on a...

Aug 10, 2016

Leaders of a massive, annual motorcycle procession to the three Sept. 11 crash sites say this...

About Us

The World Insiders brings you exclusive coverage from across the globe in a timely, easy to consume format sourced directly from our regional media partners.

Contact us: sales[at]theworldinsiders.com

Subscribe Now!