Stripper Turned Sales Exec Used Lap Dance, Cleavage To Pitch Rx: Testimony
| Fentanyl Racketeering Case Goes To Court In Boston
By Laurel J. Sweet | Boston Herald
UPDATED: January 30, 2019 at 6:37 am
A sales representative pitching a potentially deadly fentanyl pain reliever to reluctant physicians testified Tuesday that Insys Therapeutics sales efforts included the time she said her “sexually suggestive” boss treated a doctor to a lap dance.
“She was sitting on his lap, kind of bouncing around, and he had his hands all over her, kind of inappropriately,” Holly Brown said of Sunrise Lee, an ex-stripper and her former sales manager at Insys, the pharmaceutical company founded by billionaire John Kapoor.
Kapoor, Lee, three other company executives are on trial in U.S. District Court in Boston for racketeering and fraud in connection with what prosecutors said was a nationwide scheme to drive up demand for their new fentanyl-based mouth spray, Subsys, by persuading health care providers to push prescriptions on patients who didn’t need it.
In the fall of 2012, following dinner at Kapoor’s Chicago restaurant, Brown said she, Lee and another female sales representative from Insys took Dr. Paul Madison to the Chicago nightclub The Underground, settled in at a private table and ordered hundreds of dollars’ worth of bottle service …
Lee, she said, was “sexually suggestive” when it came to wooing clients for Insys. “There was a lot of cleavage.” Read more.
Opioid company executives go on trial; “acted more like mobsters”
By Jonathan Saltzman and Maria Cramer, Boston Globe
Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of racketeering conspiracy.
The federal government, which has been accused of failing to hold drug companies to account for the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic, hopes to dispel that impression Monday when the first criminal trial of pharmaceutical executives who marketed a painkiller begins.
John N. Kapoor, a one-time billionaire and founder of Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics, is scheduled to go on trial in US District Court in Boston along with four former company executives on charges that they acted more like mobsters than pharmaceutical executives when they sold a brand of fentanyl, a powerful and addictive opioid.
In a trial expected to last up to three months, federal prosecutors will try to convince a jury that the five defendants paid bribes and kickbacks to physicians in a nationwide racketeering conspiracy. The payments allegedly induced doctors to prescribe Subsys, an under-the-tongue fentanyl spray approved to treat severe cancer-related pain, for patients who hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer.
The case features several explosive allegations. Prosecutors say that Insys set up a sham “speakers program” to funnel cash to doctors, adjusted payments based on how many prescriptions doctors wrote, misrepresented patients’ medical histories to dupe insurers into covering Subsys for people without cancer, and even hired a woman who was a former stripper and escort service manager as a key sales executive.
Former Insys employees, in federal whistle-blower lawsuits filed around the country, have described a macho, high-pressure sales operation in which deception was encouraged …
The criminal case marks a rare instance of the government using the criminal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, to go after corporate executives. Read more.
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