US seeks 15-year sentence for Insys founder guilty in opioid racketeering conspiracy

Federal officials want to sentence Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor to 15 years in prison, according to a sentencing memorandum filed this week. 

Mr. Kapoor, along with several other former Insys executives, were convicted in May of a racketeering conspiracy that boosted sales of its drug, Subsys, which contains fentanyl, a highly addictive opioid, helping drive the opioid crisis in the U.S.

A trial found that Insys improperly pushed higher doses of the drug for patients who did not need it, according to STAT. Physicians were also given free meals and cash for writing Subsys prescriptions. 

Mr. Kapoor was the "principal leader" of the scheme, federal officials wrote in the Dec. 18 sentencing memo, adding, "this crime would not have happened, could not have happened, without John Kapoor." 

Federal lawyers also said Mr. Kapoor tightly controlled the decision-making at Insys and did not have an independent boardroom.

"Put simply, Kapoor ran Insys without a moral compass, without any concern that his strategies would harm people," prosecutors wrote. 

The U.S. seeks about $113 million in restitution from Mr. Kapoor. 

Mr. Kapoors lawyers argue he should be sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by house arrest and mandated community service. They said Mr. Kapoor has donated $128 million to charities and filed 72 letters from his family, friends, former employees and charities as a testament to his character, according to STAT.

Mr. Kapoor won a partial victory in November when a judge in Boston overturned some of the convictions against him and the other executives. 

His sentencing is scheduled for next month, according to STAT. 

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