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The V&E Report
Insights in Government Enforcement and Investigations

  • 04
  • December
  • 2019

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Court Rejects “Tacit Understanding” Theory to Set Aside Part of Guilty Verdict in Executives’ Opioid Trial

Executives convicted of an illegal scheme involving opioid marketing received a partial victory when the trial court vacated part of the jury’s guilty verdict. On November 26, 2019, the court issued its ruling, setting aside some of the convictions of several former Insys Therapeutics, Inc. executives who were convicted of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) by devising an illegal marketing scheme for the company’s fentanyl-based opioid product, Subsys.

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Governments Are Feeding on Facebook Data: Report Shows Recent Rise in Official Requests for User Information

For the period between January and June 2019, Facebook received 128,617 requests for user data from various government entities—16% above the 110,634 requests in the period between July and December 2018.1 This uptick was described in Facebook’s latest transparency report (the “Report”), which provides information about government data requests.2

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DOJ’s FCPA Reach Over Foreign “Agents”

The Criminal Information against two former executives of Unaoil, Inc. was unsealed on October 30, 2019, laying out the U.S. government’s case against them for facilitating bribes on behalf of companies in foreign countries in exchange for oil and gas contracts.1 Former CEO Cyrus Ahsani and former COO Saman Ahsani, both citizens of the United Kingdom, pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1 et seq.2

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Heritage Pharmaceuticals Under Fire, Settles Criminal and Civil Charges with DOJ

On May 30, 2019, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division charged Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc., a generic pharmaceutical company, for conspiring with its competitors to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers. The one-count felony information, filed on May 30 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that from April 2014 to December 2015 Heritage conspired with other individuals and companies to fix and maintain prices of glyburide, a medicine used to treat diabetes.1

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Brace Yourself: DOJ Demonstrates it Can Adapt to Technological Advances in Healthcare Industry

Although it is sometimes difficult for regulators to keep pace with innovation, telemedicine — the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide medical care remotely — is both rapidly evolving and under intense scrutiny. Just last month, DOJ announced charges against 24 individuals in what it touts is the largest telemedicine-related fraud case to-date, demonstrating DOJ’s ability to pursue complex and rapidly changing industries such as this one.

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DOJ Announces First Criminal Charges Against a Distributor in the Fight Against Opioids

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice took an important step in the fight against opioid abuse, announcing the first criminal charges against a pharmaceutical distribution company for its part in perpetuating the opioid crisis by ignoring red flags of abuse. Charges were brought against Rochester Drug Co-Operative (“RDC”), one of the ten largest pharmaceutical distributors, and two of its executives.

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