Former billionaire and pharmaceutical executive John Kapoor has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison. His sentencing is the culmination of a months-long criminal trial in Boston’s Moakley U.S. Courthouse that resulted in the first successful prosecution of pharmaceutical executives tied to the opioid epidemic.
The 76-year-old is the founder of Insys Therapeutics, which made and aggressively marketed the potent opioid painkiller Subsys.
For the federal government, this was a landmark trial in which corporate executives were charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, a charge often reserved for mob bosses and drug lords. Experts saw the trial as sending a message to drug companies that they will be held criminally accountable for their alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis.
“I think this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Brad Bailey, a former federal prosecutor and current defense attorney who has been following the Insys trial closely. “It’s a template that prosecutors will continue to use.”