John Kapoor, founder of Insys Therapeutics, sentenced to 66 months in landmark fentanyl bribery case – By Joey Garrison (USA Today) / Jan 23 2020
BOSTON — John Kapoor, the billionaire founder of the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics, will spend 5-and-a-half years in prison for orchestrating a scheme of bribes and kickbacks to physicians who prescribed large amounts of a fentanyl spray to patients who didn’t need the painkiller.
Kapoor’s 66-month sentence, handed down Thursday in Boston federal court by U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs, is the lengthiest prison term imposed on seven former Insys executives sentenced in the landmark case over the past two weeks.
In separate sentencings in recent days, Insys’ former vice president Michael Gurry and national director of sales Richard Simon each received 33 months in prison for their involvement in the scheme; former Insys CEO Michael Babich was sentenced to 30 months; the company’s regional sales director Joseph Rowan to 27 months; and Sunrise Lee, former regional sales director, to one year and a day in prison.
Former Vice President of Sales Alec Burlakoff was sentenced to 26 months Thursday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel Yeager, who sought 15 years in prison, called Kapoor the “linchpin” of the criminal scheme and the only defendant who could not have been replaced by another conspirator.
“He was the principal leader, who personally approved, and thereafter enforced, the corrupt strategies employed throughout the conspiracy,” Yeager said. “This crime would not have happened, could not have happened, without John Kapoor. It was, in almost every way, Kapoor’s crime.”
In addition to prison, Kapoor, 76, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and must pay a $250,000 fine.
The historic case, which included indictments going back to 2016, centered on a fentanyl-based pain medication called Subsys, a powerful, highly addictive and potentially dangerous narcotic intended to treat patients with cancer suffering from intense pain. Through an elaborate scheme, prosecutors said the Arizona-based company bribed doctors to prescribe the drug to their patients and tricked health insurance companies about their conditions.