Friday, June 23, 2017
Cadden Seeks Three Year Sentence
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to issue a 35 year prison sentence to the former head of a drug compounding firm, while the defendant is asking for only a three year sentence following his conviction on racketeering and mail fraud charges.
The widely divergent recommendations for Barry J. Cadden were filed this week in advance of a scheduled Monday sentencing session before U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns.
Stearns, meanwhile, denied Cadden's motion for acquittal In a 20-page order issued Thursday, Stearns concluded that prosecutors presented ample evidence for the 12 member jury to reach its conclusion, convicting him on 57 counts. They acquitted the 50-year-old on 25 counts of second degree murder.
Cadden was the president and part owner of the New England Compounding Center, the company blamed for the 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak. The company shipped out thousands of vials of a steroid that were loaded with a deadly fungus. As prosecutors noted, at least 76 patients died while over 700 were sickened in the worst ever outbreak to be caused by a pharmaceutical product.
Prosecutors, in their 50-page sentencing memorandum, said Cadden was responsible for "an unprecedented public health crisis" and displayed "an unconscionable disregard for the lives of the patients using his drugs."
Stating that Cadden deserves a "severe punishment for his crimes," prosecutors repeatedly cited evidence from his 10-week trial showing Cadden knew that NECC was not properly testing the products it was shipping all over the country.
In seeking a lengthy prison sentence, they charged there were multiple vulnerable victims and Cadden's crimes "involved a substantial risk of death or bodily injury." They also cited his role as the leader of what jurors concluded was a criminal enterprise
Cadden's attorneys, however, argued that their client had "every reason to believe" that the products NECC produced were sterile.
They acknowledged, however, that Cadden was not blameless.
"He did things and particularly failed to do things that in hindsight he truly regrets," Cadden's lawyers wrote in a 60-page sentencing memorandum.
His lawyers stressed that the jury cleared him of the second degree murder charges.
"As the jury found, Mr. Cadden is not a murderer," the memo states.
In a lengthy history of NECC, Cadden's lawyers disclosed that he collected $8.2 million in profits from NECC during the six years preceding the 2012 shutdown of the Framingham, Mass. facility.
In addition he collected $53 million from a sister company called Ameridose. It too was shuttered in the aftermath of the outbreak.
According to the memorandum it was a brother-in-law of Cadden's, Douglas Conigliaro, who came up with the idea of starting a drug compounding business. Prior to that Cadden had been following in his father's footsteps, working in a local pharmacy.
Prosecutors noted that despite the acquittal on the second degree murder charges, the voting tally sheets showed that a majority of the panel voted to convict Cadden on 21 of the 25 second degree murder counts.
Citing the statements of investigators from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, prosecutors wrote that Cadden had been warned years earlier that NECC was not following proper procedures.