Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cadden's Sentence and Conviction

"35-year sentence sought for N.E. Compounding Center boss" by John R. Ellement Globe Staff  June 23, 2017

Suicide attempts. Foreclosures. Chronic health problems. Pain, both emotional and physical, so searing that some patients regret surviving. And then there are the 76 people whose lives ended mysteriously and in agony when the fungus hidden in the medicine blossomed inside them.

This tableau of death and loss, federal prosecutors write, is among the reasons Barry J. Cadden should spend 35 years in prison for choosing profits over purity while running the New England Compounding Center, the source of a massive fungal meningitis outbreak.

“Their eyes now turn toward the criminal justice system [and] if there ever was a fraud case that deserves the greatest punishment allowable, this is it,’’ federal prosecutors wrote in court papers. Cadden’s “choices to deliberately ignore pharmacy regulations showed an unconscionable disregard for the lives of patients using his drugs.’’

Cadden is scheduled to be sentenced Monday in US District Court on numerous conspiracy, fraud, and racketeering charges by Judge Richard G. Stearns, who has rejected a defense request for a new trial or to toss the guilty verdict.

But Cadden’s lawyers in court papers rebut Acting US Attorney William Weinreb’s plea for 35 years’ imprisonment, asserting that prosecutors have deliberately misread the trial’s outcome and are wrongly asking that their client be sentenced on 25 second-degree murder charges — even though the jury did not convict.

“As the jury found, Mr. Cadden is not a murderer,’’ the defense wrote. “None of this is to say that Mr. Cadden is guilt-less. He did things, and particularly failed to do things, that in hindsight he deeply regrets.”

Three years in prison, the defense said, is an appropriate sentence for Cadden, who would become the first compounding pharmacist imprisoned for failures inside their facilities.

“The instinct to punish Mr. Cadden harshly is a function of the scope of the outbreak, and the horror associated with it, and less a function of Mr. Cadden’s individual actions,’’ the defense wrote. “The jury appears to have rejected the government’s characterization of Mr. Cadden as callous and greedy. The court should do the same.’’

Cadden is the former head pharmacist and a co-owner of NECC, which produced unsanitary drugs blamed by prosecutors for the deaths of 76 people and the sickening of some 700 more patients in more than 20 states across the country in 2012.

During the trial, Cadden was portrayed by the defense as the chief executive of NECC who delegated responsibility for properly manufacturing the drugs to Glenn A. Chin, the former head pharmacist awaiting trial on similar charges, including the 25 counts of second-degree murder.

Nowhere was there mention of the lack of state regulation and oversight. The very regulators of the industry were drawn from industry. It was a state government responsibility, and they failed miserably.


He ended up getting 9 years after a three month trial with an ethnically and racially diverse jury, and you can decide for yourself whether the the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed more than 60 people across the country and sickened hundreds more was given proper attention:

"Owner of Framingham pharmacy that sickened hundreds gets probation" by Kay Lazar Globe Staff  November 09, 2016

The majority owner of a shuttered Framingham pharmacy linked to a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 will receive no jail time for illegally withdrawing thousands of dollars from bank accounts, federal prosecutors revealed Wednesday.

Carla Conigliaro, a 53-year-old Dedham resident who owned New England Compounding Center, and her husband, Douglas, 55, both received probation and a fine at sentencing Wednesday in US District Court in Boston.

Carla Conigliaro was sentenced to probation for one year and ordered to pay a $4,500 fine; her husband received two years probation and a $55,000 fine.

The couple were accused of withdrawing $124,000 in unusual sums of cash from their personal accounts in fall 2012, just as authorities traced the deadly outbreak to New England Compounding.

“The cash transactions were structured by the Conigliaros in a manner so as to evade the $10,000 reporting requirements,” according to a statement from US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.

The couple pleaded guilty in July.

Sixty-four patients across the country died and hundreds were sickened by contaminated vials of a steroid manufactured at the Framingham company.

The Conigliaros’ lawyer, David E. Meier, had urged the court to consider probation for the couple. In a sentencing recommendation filed with the court, Meier wrote that probation was a “fair and reasonable” sentence and that the two accepted full responsibility for their actions, “as well as the great shame and devastating consequences that their conduct has already brought upon themselves and their family.”

Meier also said that Carla Conigliaro has since contributed $24 million to a victims’ fund created to compensate the families of those left dead and seriously injured by the tainted medicine.

Yeah, I know, but can that really ever take the place of a loved one? Can you put a price on that?

The Conigliaros did not face charges related to misdeeds at the pharmacy.

Another New England Compounding owner, Barry J. Cadden, who also was head pharmacist, and supervisory pharmacist Glenn A. Chin were charged with racketeering and second-degree murder in seven states. They are scheduled to go on trial in January.


I don't know what to tell you. All I can say is the Ju$tu$ $y$tem seems like it is out of whack.

"Split trials for lead defendants in meningitis case" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff  December 17, 2016

Two former executives of a now-shuttered Framingham pharmacy linked to a deadly meningitis outbreak in 2012 will have separate trials in their racketeering case, a federal judge in Boston ruled Thursday.

The three-page ruling from US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns concerns Barry J. Cadden, co-owner and head pharmacist of the New England Compounding Center, and Glenn A. Chin, the supervisory pharmacist.

They were charged in 2014 with racketeering and other crimes that prosecutors say resulted in the deaths of 25 people in seven states. They have pleaded not guilty.

On Thursday, Stearns ruled that Cadden will stand trial on Jan. 4. Chin’s trial will begin after the conclusion of Cadden’s.

So that one is coming up.

Lawyers for Cadden filed a sealed motion for separate trials on Dec. 2. Court records show that they plan to introduce materials at trial that could “reflect adversely on Chin.”

“As a rule, severance of defendants charged together with the same crimes is not favored,” Stearns wrote in Thursday’s ruling. He said he granted Cadden’s motion because trying the men together may compromise the integrity of the case.

Fourteen people were charged in connection with the fungal meningitis outbreak linked to the pharmacy. Contaminated drugs — produced with expired ingredients under unsterile conditions — have been tied to the deaths of 64 people and to illnesses in about 700 patients in 20 states.

Yeah, that's the thing I have a thought time getting pa$t.

Two defendants have pleaded guilty to financial crimes related to the outbreak, and the remaining cases are pending.



Trial set to start for pharmacy owner in deadly meningitis outbreak

Pharmacist’s greed led to 25 deaths, prosecutors say

CDC investigator says fungal meningitis outbreak rivaled Ebola epidemic

The number of deaths? 

If so, they were treated very differently. Ebola was a crisis of fear, meningitis not so much.

"NECC salesman testifies on fatal meningitis outbreak" by Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  January 13, 2017

A former salesman for the New England Compounding Center recalled for a federal jury Friday how he first learned of a fungal meningitis outbreak in September 2012 that would kill more than 60 people and sicken hundreds more — when one of his clients began to complain that patients who had been injected with a steroid produced at the Framingham-based pharmacy were getting sick with a mysterious illness.

The doctor at the St. Thomas Neurological Surgical Center in Tennessee feared his needles were the cause, but he also wanted to know what type of testing was being conducted at the Framingham center, known as NECC.

“I assured them, we had testing results on the medication,” the salesman, Mario Giamei Jr., told jurors, his hands folded in front of him.

Giamei was the first person from the company to testify in a federal trial related to the outbreak, and he expressed a sense of disbelief among workers, if not a sense of denial, that they could be at fault.

“There’s no way it could be us,” he recalled thinking. “I believed our testing was done properly.”

Federal authorities allege that the steroid produced at the compounding center, methylprednisolone acetate, came from one of three batches that were contaminated with mold and distributed nationwide, a case of neglect that became the worst pharmaceutical scandal in the country’s history.

Say again.

Giamei testified Friday in the trial of Barry J. Cadden, the former president and head pharmacist at NECC, and for more than three hours he described how he was recruited to market NECC as a state-of-the-art compounding center that followed all federal guidelines, employed trained pharmacists, and conducted extensive testing on its products, though he had no history in the industry and never saw the pharmacy laboratory.

“At the time, I thought it was a safe product,” said Giamei, who sold mortgages before he was hired by Medical Sales Management, the sales branch of NECC, in November 2010. He was testifying under an immunity agreement that protected him from prosecution for any of his statements.

Cadden, 50, of Wrentham, faces more than 90 charges, including racketeering and causing the deaths of at least 25 patients. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors allege he and other NECC employees ran the pharmacy like a criminal enterprise, skirting industry standards to maximize their profits. They produced drugs in unsanitary conditions that they knew, or should have known, could pose health risks, authorities say.

Just doin' bu$ine$$ in AmeriKa.

Several other employees were also charged, though Cadden was one of only two pharmacists accused of directly causing deaths, and he is the first to go to trial.

Lawyers for Cadden say he was an executive who was not directly involved in the actual compounding operations, and so he had no direct involvement in any action that caused a death. If anything, the lawyers argue, Cadden urged staff to follow proper protocol, and he conducted more testing than what was required by standards.

Prosecutors allege that he was responsible as the head pharmacist, and that he knew of the shoddy work environment and the potential risks. In the fifth day of the trial, Giamei was the first witness called to testify regarding the inner workings of NECC.

“We felt very strongly our product we put out there was great,” Giamei told jurors. “That would come from management, from Barry. . . . That we were making world-class products, the safest products.”

Giamei said he was armed with sales pitches and promotional material that stated that NECC followed guidelines set by the United States Pharmacopeia, an industry association, and that it used state-of-the-art compounding methods and conducted extensive testing.

NECC specialized in compounding custom medications, specifically steroids. Giamei was part of a team of close to two dozen salespeople who made pitches to hospitals, surgical centers, and pain clinics.

He acknowledged under cross-examination that he was trained to explain to clients that NECC was only required and typically only conducted end-product testing on certain medications, like stock medications, and not custom medications, an issue that seemed to confuse some clients who believed the center followed the guidelines at all times.

Cadden seemed to get angry when bothered with nuisance questions about testing, or “nit-picking,” Giamei said.

In one situation, Giamei said, Cadden acknowledged that NECC did not conduct testing when guidelines called for it, and he instructed Giamei to tell a client that the pharmacy followed only 99 percent of the guidelines. The client was prepared to test the drug herself.

Giamei did not see a problem with the company’s operations until the outbreak began in September 2012. The clinic in Tennessee was one of the first in the country to see patients sickened by the contaminated steroid. Tennessee health officials contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


All I can think of is those poor people in Tennessee.

"In pharmacy case, widow tells of husband’s brutal decline" by Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  January 19, 2017

In September 2012, Thomas Rybinski of Tennessee was the first patient to be identified as a fatal victim of the fungal meningitis outbreak caused by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham.

On Wednesday, his widow, Colette Rybinski, was the first victim to testify in the first criminal trial related to the outbreak, which killed more than 60 people and sickened roughly 700 more.

That's the thing: it not only resulted in terrifying deaths, but the product was made for people who where already suffering. This just added to their misery in unimaginable ways. It's one of those real head-shakers. I mean, you expect the banks to rip you off and the war machine to lie, but this.... !

And yet somehow the state has to regulate the pot (am I supposed to take that with some water?).

Rybinski recounted for jurors how her 55-year-old husband began to complain of severe headaches in August 2012, after he was injected with an NECC steroid.

“‘I’ve never felt anything like this in my life, I feel like my head is going to explode,’” she said he told her. The father of three who had worked for General Motors for 35 years had been an active man but was suddenly debilitated. His health declined rapidly until he died on Sept. 29, 2012.

In the most solemn moments so far in the trial, which is in its second week, Rybinski recounted her husband’s mysterious decline.

He was treated first at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville where he tested positive for meningitis. Doctors tested for possible causes, including a tick borne illness.

“They pretty much sequestered him from everybody else,” his wife said softly.

By the end of August, Thomas Rybinski was discharged. “Everyone agreed he improved,” Rybinski testified. He left the hospital with a bag of medications. But soon, his symptoms returned, including the pounding headache.

Rybinski said she took her husband to a nearby medical center because it was closer than the hospital in Nashville. All she had was the bag of medications and her attempt at an explanation of what happened in the weeks prior. Doctors there called their counterparts at Vanderbilt, and Thomas Rybinski was rushed there by ambulance.

“Tom started losing his ability to communicate,” Rybinski testified. “He was confused, he was speaking a lot of gibberish.”

His condition fluctuated. At times he was confused. At others, he could not communicate. He did not recall their marriage, Rybinski said. But he listened as doctors described how they had finally diagnosed him with spinal meningitis due to a fungal infection, aspergillus.

“They said ‘we know what it is, so we’re going to try to tailor something to that’,” she recalled. When they were alone, her husband looked at her and declared, “‘It was my shot,’” she testified.

His condition never improved, and he was taken to a hospice center, where he died a week later.....



"Jury set to deliberate in trial of New England Compounding Center pharmacist" by Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  March 13, 2017

After more than nine weeks of testimony, a federal jury is slated to begin deliberating Wednesday in the trial of Barry J. Cadden, the former New England Compounding Center head pharmacist and co-owner who is accused of causing the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak that killed more than 60 people and sickened roughly 700 more.

Globe stuck with it for a couple unless I missed something, and if so I profoundly apologize.

US District Judge Richard G. Stearns said after a brief hearing Monday that he will let jurors decide whether Cadden was responsible for causing the deaths of at least 25 of the victims of the outbreak. More than 60 people died, but prosecutors charged Cadden in only 25 of the deaths.

Lawyers for Cadden argued at Monday’s hearing that no “reasonable jury” could convict Cadden of second-degree murder based on the evidence that was introduced in the trial, and that the judge should dismiss the charges related to those murders.

Stearns said after the hearing Monday that while Cadden’s role in some of the crimes could be questioned, the jury should decide.

The judge said he would be willing to dismiss a charge that Cadden defrauded the US Food and Drug Administration by claiming the compounding center was a pharmacy rather than a manufacturer, which would have triggered more federal oversight. Stearns said he was not sure the FDA was defrauded, but he would let the jury decide and could revisit the request to dismiss the charge after a verdict is rendered.

That is the first inkling of oversight, and it is vague and ill-defined.

Cadden, 50, of Wrentham, faces more than 90 charges related to the 2012 outbreak, including fraud and racketeering.

Though he has not been charged directly with murder, which is a state crime, federal prosecutors listed second-degree murder counts under the racketeering charge. Prosecutors must show that Cadden committed underlying crimes in order to convict him of racketeering. He faces life in prison if convicted of racketeering and the murder charges.

That why the feds have to bring the case? State regulators complicit if not negligent themselves?

Cadden is the first person to go to trial on charges related to the outbreak, and he is one of two people charged with causing deaths. Former supervisory pharmacist Glen Chin is slated to be tried on similar charges after Cadden’s trial.

Prosecutors say they and other pharmacists ran a shoddy workplace that skirted industry standards to maximize profits, and that they produced drugs in unsanitary conditions knowing the health risks. In the summer of 2012, three batches of a steroid the compounding center produced were contaminated with mold.

Is that a crime?

The contaminations led to a public health crisis, a lead investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testified during the trial. Investigators struggled to determine the cause of the outbreak in September 2012 as reports of illnesses and deaths poured in. Once they identified the contaminated steroid as the source, investigators struggled to figure out how to treat the fungal meningitis.

During Monday’s hearing, an attorney for Cadden argued that while “something went terribly wrong,” Cadden could not be found liable for causing the deaths.

He said prosecutors have not shown exactly how the batches of steroids were contaminated, what Cadden or anybody else did to contaminate them, and how Cadden could be linked to the deaths. He said thousands of other vials of steroids were sent out that did not cause infections.

“Something went terribly wrong, everyone agrees with that. Horribly, terribly wrong. But what went horribly, terribly wrong, nobody can identify that,” Singal said.

If the vial doesn't fit, you must acquit!

But Assistant US Attorney George Varghese argued that Cadden is charged with causing the deaths because he was reckless and indifferent to public safety, creating a shoddy environment that allowed the contamination while he was well aware of the dangers.

He said the outbreak was inevitable because of the way Cadden ran the compounding center.

“He cut corners,” Varghese said. “Eventually, it was going to catch up with him, and it did in September 2012.”

Jurors could begin deliberating Wednesday afternoon, after lawyers in the case give their closing arguments.


"NECC co-owner convicted in meningitis outbreak" by Milton J. Valencia and Kay Lazar Globe Staff  March 22, 2017

The former co-owner and head pharmacist at a Framingham company that shipped tainted drugs across the country, causing more than 60 deaths and hundreds of illnesses, was convicted of fraud and racketeering Wednesday, though a federal jury refused to brand him a murderer.

Barry J. Cadden, who jurors found had run New England Compounding Center like a criminal enterprise, could serve several years in prison. But the jury’s verdict spared him from a life sentence in one of the worst pharmaceutical scandals in US history.

Cadden, 50, of Weymouth, appeared stoic as the court clerk sorted through a 21-page verdict slip to declare him guilty on 57 of the 96 charges he faced, including conspiracy, fraud, and racketeering, which means he participated in a criminal enterprise to boost profits. He was escorted by his lawyers to a car waiting outside the courthouse, and left without commenting. He is slated to be sentenced June 21.

Didn't even have a license.

“This case was a national tragedy,” Acting US Attorney William Weinreb said at a news conference after the verdict was announced. “Barry Cadden put profits over patients. He used [New England Compounding] to perpetrate a massive fraud that harmed hundreds of people, but the jury saw through that fraud, and today they held Barry Cadden responsible for his crimes.”

It was the first in an expected series of criminal trials linked to the tainted drug scandal that opened a window onto the little-known compounding industry. Those pharmacies specialize in making drugs tailored to the needs of doctors and patients. Lawyers for Cadden, a founding owner of New England Compounding, sought to label the meningitis outbreak an unfortunate tragedy in a high-risk business.

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for 20 hours before reaching its verdict. The trial lasted nine weeks and included testimony from more than 60 witnesses.

Weinreb said he was disappointed jurors could not agree that Cadden was responsible for the deaths of patients, but said the trial showed the extent of his wrongdoing and how it caused an outbreak of fungal meningitis. He said more than 60 people “died because of the tainted drugs that were distributed on Mr. Cadden’s watch.”

Bruce Singal, an attorney for Cadden, said he would appeal on the grounds there was insufficient evidence to hold Cadden responsible for the outbreak, saying Cadden was an executive not directly involved in mixing drugs. Singal said Cadden was mindful it was important “to remember the victims of this public health tragedy,” but said his client should never have been accused of murder.

How long that going to take?

“Murder is the worst crime known to humanity, and it is a terrible injustice that Barry Cadden was labeled with this charge by the government for more than two years,” Singal said. “It was unprovable, unwarranted, and unjustified, and we are deeply grateful the jury saw it that way.”

I agree; that's why war criminal presidents and their ma$$ media enablers bother me so.

The fraud and racketeering convictions each carry potential punishments of up to 20 years in prison, though multiple sentences are often layered on top of each other and are served at the same time. Cadden’s sentence would be based on sentencing guidelines that account for his convictions and the nature of the crimes, but also his personal characteristics and lack of a criminal record. Weinreb said prosecutors were still assessing an appropriate sentence recommendation based on sentencing guidelines and the jury’s verdict.

To family members whose relatives died from the tainted drugs or to people left with unremitting pain, the jury’s verdict was small comfort. Cadden, they said, should have been convicted of murder.

“I am sad it is not murder, but he knows what he has done,” said Carol Burema Snyder, whose mother, Pauline Burema, died in October 2012 after receiving a tainted steroid injunction. She was 89 and had been living in Michigan.

Dee Morell said she still suffers such intense pain in her hip from the contaminated shot she received in 2012 that she has been unable to work and requires daily pain medication.

“He had no regard for human life, really. He was very greed-oriented,” she said.

Morell said she hopes to attend the April trial of another New England Compounding pharmacist accused of causing deaths, Glenn A. Chin. In his trial, Cadden had sought to place blame on Chin.

Prosecutors described for jurors, however, how Cadden skirted industry regulations to boost profits, well aware of the inherent dangers. In sales pitches, he vowed that the pharmacy adhered to testing protocols and used state-of-the-art equipment, but knew that was not the case.

Instead, the drugs were produced in unsanitary conditions, leading to fungus contamination of three batches of a steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, in summer 2012. Vials of the steroid were shipped to doctors at pain management clinics, who injected patients with the sullied drugs.

So the doctors, your local physician, had no idea he was injecting you with poison. And they wonder why I scoff at the Merck poster in the examination room.

The verdict was split, with jurors agreeing to convict Cadden on some fraud charges, but not all. Jurors convicted Cadden of sending out the contaminated drugs, though they acquitted him of charges that he sought to mislead customers by providing them with adulterated drugs. He was also found not guilty of charges that he knowingly mislabeled drugs.

Cadden was also acquitted of charges that he sought to defraud the US Food and Drug Administration by treating his center as a pharmacy, rather than a manufacturing center, which would have subjected New England Compounding to greater federal scrutiny.

Weinreb would not say how prosecutors will proceed with other criminal cases related to the outbreak, including the April trial of Chin, who was Cadden’s supervisory pharmacist.

April trial?

Seven other workers, including pharmacists at the Framingham center, are slated to go to trial on related charges. US District Judge Richard G. Stearns dismissed charges against two other people. A former salesman, Robert Ronzio, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government and testify against Cadden. He has not been sentenced.

Chin’s lawyer, Stephen Weymouth, said in an interview that prosecutors should scale back the case against his client based on the jury’s verdict in Cadden’s case — if Chin’s case goes to trial at all. He said Chin might admit to some of the charges, but not murder. 

Oh, he must have done that. They plea-bargained him.

“This was a pretty smart jury. I think they got it right across the board,” Weymouth said, adding the murder charges “should never have been brought by the government.”

Weinreb defended prosecutors’ decision to charge Cadden with directly causing deaths, despite the verdict. “Mr. Cadden’s full conduct was amply laid out over the course of the two months that this trial took place, and we’re very pleased to have had that opportunity to tell that story so that the whole world would know what Mr. Cadden did,” Weinreb said.


"NECC verdict could serve as blueprint for other trials" by Milton J. Valencia Globe Staff  March 24, 2017

The verdict slips tell a story.

When jurors returned their decision in the trial of the former co-owner of a Framingham company that shipped tainted drugs across the country, they did more than declare guilt or innocence.

They marked their vote tallies on the verdict slip, showing the outcome of their votes, or at least the initial votes, on the charges on which they failed to convict Barry J. Cadden.

Cadden, who was also head pharmacist at New England Compounding Center, was convicted Wednesday of dozens of counts of fraud and racketeering related to a medical crisis that killed more than 60 people and sickened hundreds more. He was also convicted of conspiracy, which means jurors believed he conspired with others to carry out his crimes.

But Cadden was acquitted of more serious charges that he caused the deaths of at least 25 of the victims of the outbreak, a verdict that essentially spares him from a life sentence. He is slated to be sentenced June 21.

It was the first in a series of criminal trials related to the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak.

That split verdict — and those verdict slips — could sketch a roadmap for prosecutors and defense attorneys as they decide how to proceed in the other cases.

“You don’t always have that insight into what the jury was thinking,” said Eric Christofferson, a former federal prosecutor and now an attorney with DLA Piper.

He said in an interview the question of whether Cadden had an intentional role in the murders “was obviously the main issue that the jury was wrestling with.”

“It really gives the parties, both the government and the defense attorneys who are looking at the next round of trials, something to think about going into the next round,” Christofferson said.

The tallies show the 12 jurors were split on charges related to the deaths. While they had been asked to consider 25 deaths, and could not unanimously agree on a guilty verdict on any of them, jurors seemed more willing to say guilty to deaths that happened in certain states.

For instance, nine of the jurors said Cadden was guilty of the three deaths that occurred in Indiana, while seven said guilty to the three deaths that occurred in Maryland.

None said guilty to the two deaths that occurred in Florida.

David Schumacher, who recently became a partner at Hooper, Lundy & Bookman after eight years as a prosecutor in the US attorney’s health care fraud unit, said the disparity shows jurors followed the case closely and listened to the judge’s instructions — they were required to follow the murder laws specific to each state, a possible explanation for the disparities in the verdict sheet.

“It shows the jury was carefully, deliberately’’ doing its job, he said.

That is likely to factor into the thinking of prosecutors in advance of the trial of Glenn A. Chin, Cadden’s former head pharmacist and the only other person charged with causing deaths. Any conviction would have to be unanimous.

“It matters because the stakes are so high,” Schumacher said.

In his trial, Cadden placed the blame for contaminated drugs on Chin, saying evidence showed Chin was the one in charge of the pharmacy, which could make him appear more culpable.

Chin’s lawyer, Stephen Weymouth, said his client might be willing to plead guilty to some charges but not murder, and he said the jury’s refusal to convict Cadden of those charges shows that prosecutors have overreached in trying to connect them to the deaths.

Bruce Singal, an attorney for Cadden, said there is no indication the jury’s vote tallies were a final vote, noting the verdicts were announced in the courtroom and all the jurors said they agreed.

Prosecutors would not comment on the verdict sheet. The identities of the jurors are not known, and they could not be reached for comment.

Though Chin and Cadden were the only two accused of causing deaths, seven other workers at New England Compounding, including pharmacists and technicians, are slated to go to trial in the fall on charges including fraud and racketeering — the same charges Cadden was convicted of.

Two other defendants had charges dismissed, and another has pleaded guilty.

Mark Pearlstein, an attorney for one of the men awaiting trial, pharmacist Joseph M. Evanosky, said the verdict has not changed his plans to contest the charges.

“We are very confident that the government is going to be unable to establish that [Evanosky] committed any crime, period,” he said. “There’s nothing in the verdict that alters that view, which we’ve had since the inception of this case.”

But analysts said prosecutors, while disappointed the jury refused to convict Cadden on the charges related to the deaths, probably left the courthouse emboldened after the jury found that he ran a conspiracy with his pharmacists, and committed fraud.

“I’d expect them to go full speed ahead,” Schumacher said.



Victims disappointed pharmacy owner wasn’t convicted of murder

‘He has no idea what he’s done to my family’

Maybe some money would make her happy?

Good thing the feds prosecuted the case

"Judge finds prosecutor misconduct in handling of Amherst drug lab cases" by Shawn Musgrave Globe Correspondent  June 26, 2017

A Springfield judge has vacated several drug cases connected to a former state chemist after finding that two former state prosecutors committed misconduct.


In a lengthy ruling, Judge Richard J. Carey of Hampden County Superior Court concluded that the two prosecutors “tampered with the fair administration of justice” by deliberately concealing documents and making misrepresentations to a judge. Carey found their conduct “constitutes a fraud upon the court.”


Carey dismissed the convictions of seven defendants and allowed another to withdraw his guilty plea.

The dismissals stem from evidence tested by Sonja Farak, a former state chemist at the Amherst drug laboratory who was arrested in early 2013 after a colleague noticed samples were missing. She pleaded guilty in 2014 to stealing from narcotics evidence and was sentenced to eighteen months in jail.

At the time of her arrest, State Police seized drugs and paraphernalia from Farak’s car, as well as work sheets she completed as part of substance abuse therapy. The work sheets showed that her tampering with evidence began earlier than was revealed at trial or in subsequent proceedings.

(Blog editor sighs as shoulders slump)

Judge Carey determined that two former assistant attorneys general — Anne Kaczmarek and Kris Foster — compounded the damage done by Farak, and that their actions were “in many ways more damning.” The prosecutors took steps to conceal these work sheets from the court and local prosecutors, as well as from defendants challenging Farak’s analysis in their cases, he found.

Almost like a.... gulp.... conspiracy?

Kaczmarek left the attorney general’s office in 2014 and is now an assistant clerk magistrate in Suffolk County.

“I am proud of my 16 years of working for the people of Massachusetts. I disagree with the Court’s decision and the characterization of my conduct in this case,” said Kaczmarek.

Foster is now general counsel at the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission. She did not respond to a request for comment.

“The nature and scope of governmental misconduct by Kaczmarek and Foster in withholding evidence was severe,” Carey wrote. “It continued for a prolonged period, in violation of many drug lab defendants’ constitutional rights.”

I give up; just legalize it all, as bad as that sounds.

Kaczmarek, who led Farak’s prosecution and also prosecuted former state chemist Annie Dookhan, cited these work sheets in memos to her supervisors. She also provided copies to Farak’s defense attorney, but not to the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, which was responsible for passing along pertinent evidence to defendants.

In response to motions from defense attorneys, Foster told a judge that all relevant materials had already been turned over, characterizing such motions as a “fishing expedition.” Foster later testified that she never actually reviewed the evidence files to determine what had not been turned over, and that she intentionally wrote a “vague” letter to the judge to avoid representing that she had.....

You know that lying to a judge part, that really gets me. That is like one of the foundations of the system. If you are going to lie to the judge.... !!


Would still have to pay, though.

Just an observation, but it seemed like the Globe covered the Hernandez trial much more.


"Business groups — including the National Association of Manufacturers, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the libertarian Cato Institute think tank — filed friend-of-the-court briefs backing the DeCosters’ appeal. The groups argued that it is unfair to send corporate executives to prison for violations that they were either unaware of or that were committed by subordinates....."

Looks like blanket immunity for the corporate cla$$ rulers, but not their underlings. As we saw in the torture scandal, grunts -- for lack of a better word -- will be scapegoated. Doesn't excuse them, just highlights the dynamics of the hierarchy at the top. Too big to jail, right?

Related: Tuesday Breakfast 

No wonder the eggs were bad.