Federal prosecutors in Boston allege that the pharmacists who ran the New England Compounding Center ran the company like a criminal enterprise, engaging in a conspiracy to defraud customers with shoddy work that they knew could lead to deaths, say lawyers analyzing a 73-page indictment issued yesterday tell the Boston Globe. By alleging racketeering, prosecutors say they will show that the licensed pharmacists knew they were violating federal regulations but that they engaged in fraud to aid the goals of their crime ring, analysts said.
Officials charged from New England Compounding Center (NECC), include executives and supervisory pharmacists who were accused of selling tainted drugs to hospitals, doctors, and patients. Prosecutors said the drugs led to a meningitis outbreak that affected hundreds and killed dozens. Of the 14 people indicted, eight were charged with racketeering conspiracy, meaning they were accused of running NECC as a criminal organization. To prove that charge, prosecutors will have to show that there was an agreement to commit crimes, that the participants knew they were crimes, and that those crimes aided the goals of the criminal organization. The prosecutors would also have to show that there was a pattern of crimes over a period of time.