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Filings: Purdue owners used Swiss banks to hide transfers

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2019, file photo, medications slated for destruction are shown in a locked storage area of the police department in Barberton, Ohio. The tentative settlement involving the opioid crisis and the maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, could mean that thousands of local governments will one day be paid back for some of the costs of responding to the epidemic. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

NEW YORK — The family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma used Swiss bank accounts to conceal the transfer of millions of dollars from the company to themselves, New York state’s attorney general contends in court papers filed Friday.

New York — asking a judge to enforce subpoenas of companies, banks and advisers to Purdue and its owners, the Sackler family — said it has already documented $1 billion in transfers between those parties.

Those transactions include millions shifted from a Purdue parent company to former board member Mortimer D.A. Sackler, prosecutors said in the papers. Prosecutors say Sackler then redirected substantial amounts to shell companies that own family homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons.

The filing, made in a New York court, follows decisions by that state and others to reject a tentative settlement with Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue, announced this week, arguing it does not do enough to make amends for the company’s and family’s alleged roles in flooding U.S. communities with prescription painkillers.

New York, Massachusetts and others contend that the Sacklers drained more than $4 billion from Purdue since 2007, moving much of it offshore to avoid future claims. In its filing Friday, New York told a state judge that the only way it can determine the full extent of those transfers is if all those it has subpoenaed are forced to provide documents detailing their interactions with the Sackler family.

“It is elementary, however, that how the Sacklers moved and tried to hide their money will be key evidence of the liability of all of the participants,” a lawyer for the attorney general wrote the judge.

Adam Geller, The Associated Press

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