Audit: Sackler Family Withdrew $10B From Purdue Pharma In 10 Years

An audit found the Sackler family transferred $10.7 billion from their company into family trusts and overseas holding companies from 2008-2018.
Posted at 6:41 PM, Dec 17, 2019

Court documents show that the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, transferred more than $10 billion from the company to family trusts and overseas holding companies from 2008-2018.

These withdrawals reportedly happened as Purdue was facing accusations of fueling the opioid crisis that has killed nearly 400,000 people over the past 20 years.

Details about the withdrawals emerged during an audit that was filed in bankruptcy court on Monday. The audit shows from 2008-2018, the Sacklers withdrew $10.7 billion, which was more than eight times what they had withdrawn over the previous 13 years.

The largest withdrawals came after the company's 2007 plea deal with the Justice Department. Purdue agreed to pay $600 million to settle felony charges that it had misled doctors and patients about the risks of its opioid OxyContin.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who's currently working to find out how much money the Sacklers have made, said: "We need full transparency into their total assets. ... We are committed to holding the Sacklers responsible for the role they played in fueling the opioid crisis and will not stop fighting until we have achieved justice for victims."

Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection in September, which paused thousands of lawsuits while the company tried to build support for an estimated $10 billion proposed settlement. 

The settlement would be distributed to more than 2,000 states, municipalities, counties and governments. The company has denied any wrongdoing.