Outrage Fatigue. It’s a thing, people. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the past few years have been one non-stop freakshow parade of horrors. If you’re a semi-sentient being, there’s no need for me to list them all, and I’m sure you’ve got your own personal hit parade of disturbing, enraging idiocy that you mentally project onto your bedroom ceiling each night before the Xanax/Ambien/Kava Kava takes hold and drags you down into the slumbery depths. I’ve got three words that are quite enough for me: Children in cages.
However, I’d like to think that I possess enough residual humanity to still be startled into a “WTF?” moment now and then. Today was one of those moments. From FoxBusiness:
The New York attorney general’s office on Friday said the family made about $1 billion in wire transfers through Swiss bank accounts, as reported by The New York Times.
A spokesperson for the company declined to comment.
The Purdue family was paid more than $4 billion from Purdue Pharma over the course of about a decade.
According to Forbes, the family is worth an estimated $13 billion.
As reported by The Associated Press last week, the Sacklers shielded much of that wealth in “an intricate web of companies and trusts,” some registered in offshore tax havens like Bermuda.
New York has issued subpoenas to 33 investment advisers and banks to get more information on funds transferred out of Purdue.
Earlier this week, there was a tentative settlement announced for the part Purdue Pharma played in the national opioid crisis – which would require the company to file for structured bankruptcy and pay $12 billion – including about $3 billion from the Sackler family.
The family would also have to give up ownership of the company and sell another one of its pharmaceutical companies – Mundipharma.
Not everyone is satisfied with the terms, however.
When there is a bankruptcy filing, often all other litigation is halted. It is unclear whether a settlement would shield the family, however.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on Wednesday that the company continued to “lowball the millions of victims of the opioid crisis,” adding that she would “continue to seek justice for victims.”
Sixteen states have sued family members by name.
The Sacklers paid $75 million as part of a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma earlier this year.
Opioid addiction has resulted in hundreds of thousands of American fatalities.”
Outrageous doesn’t BEGIN to cover the depth and breadth of the “alleged” actions of the Sackler family and their army of paid enablers – the shadow inhabitants of the global underground finance infrastructure. It would be most interesting to find out the current locations of the transferred funds. Someone should get on that.
If the Sacklers were your garden-variety members of the kleptocratic elite, these revelations would hardly raise an eyebrow anymore. OF COURSE weasely billionaires are going to use any means at their disposal to avoid giving up even a nickel to the jurisdictions whose populations they’ve fleeced. It’s kind of built into the Late Stage Capitalism model.
In this particular instance, however, it’s appears that the Sacklers and their front corporation, Purdue Pharma, have stepped over the invisible line that even the present administration realizes exists. The public has a really difficult time understanding how mortgage securitization blew up the global financial system a decade ago, but even the slowest among us get how a drug dealer operates, and we’ve all seen, directly or indirectly, to paraphrase Neil Young, The Needle and the Damage Done.
The hubris is staggering. A family already worth an estimated $13 billion goes to enormous lengths, breaking all sorts of laws, to hide a billion dollars beyond the reach of virtually anyone, international law enforcement authorities included. Think about that: They were willing to brazenly wire unfathomable sums of money via the SWIFT interbank transfer system, knowing full well that U.S. authorities would receive SAR reports on the transfers, and literally NOT GIVING A SHIT and doing it anyway. The only logical explanation: They figured they would get away with it. That they were, quite literally, above the law. This would be bad enough if the transferred money was earned ‘honestly,’ through corporate M&A or selling shares in one of their companies. But this cash is the very definition of Blood Money. Each dollar in that fortune represents human suffering, and the Sacklers know it, and simply do not care.
I desperately hope the Southern District of New York can get individual indictments and eventual convictions on these despicable weasels, but I won’t hold my breath.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter @JustinMcDaid, Facebook, or LinkedIn.