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14 indicted in connection with meningitis outbreak

 Fourteen people have been charged federally in connection with the fungal meningitis outbreak that killed 64 people and infected 751 patients. Two of the defendants were charged with 25 acts of second degree murder in seven states, including Indiana and Michigan.

In addition to the murder charges, the 131 count indictment includes charges for racketeering, mail fraud, conspiracy, contempt, structuring, and violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

The indictment alleges the tainted vials of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate were created in non-sterile conditions and were shipped without following proper health regulations.

The 25 second-degree murders charges against Barry J. Cadden and Glenn Chin are included in the indictment as predicate racketeering acts under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The charges allege Cadden and Chin acted with extreme indifference to human life.

It is alleged that Cadden and Chin knew if the MPA was not sterile, it could kill patients.

The indictment alleges NECC failed to properly test drugs for sterility and didn't wait for test results before sending the drugs to customers.

It is alleged NECC didn't take action when mold and bacteria were detected in NECC's clean room suite in 2012.

Defendant Carla Conigliaro, the majority shareholder of NECC, and her husband allegedly transferred assets following the meningitis outbreak, according to the indictment. They are accused of transferring $33.3 million to 8 different bank accounts opened after the NECC bankruptcy.

The defendants include:

  • Defendant Barry J. Cadden was an owner and director of NECC, and served as it's president, head pharmacist and manager of record. He was also a owner, director and treasurer of Medical Sales Management, Inc. which provided services to NECC and sold drugs on behalf of NECC. Cadden was charged with racketeering,
  • Glenn A. Chin was a supervisory pharmacist at NECC.
  • Gene Svirskiy was a pharmacist at NECC between August 2007 and October 2012.
  • Christopher M. Leary was a pharmacist at NECC between March 2011 and October 2012.
  • Joseph M. Evanosky was a pharmacist at NECC between April 2011 and October 2012.
  • Scott M. Connolly was a pharmacy technician at NECC between September 2007 until January 2009 and from January 2010 until August 2012. He surrendered his pharmacy tech license in January 2009.
  • Sharon P. Carter was an employee of NECC beginning in September 2000 and was promoted to NECC's Director of Operations in February 2012.
  • Alla V. Stepanets was a pharmacist at NECC between January 2008 and October 2012.
  • Gregory A. Conigliaro was an owner and director of NECC and served as NECC's Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and General Manager.
  • Robert A. Ronzio was MSM's national sales director beginning in September 2011.
  • Kathy S. Chin was a pharmacist at NECC from November 2010 to October 2012.
  • Michelle L. Thomas was a pharmacist at NECC from March 2012 until August 2012.
  • Carla R. Conigliaro was a majority shareholder of NECC and served as director.
Of the 27 counts of racketeering mail fraud , count 1 was related to vials sent to Michigan Pain specialists in Brighton Michigan, counts 8-12 were related to vials sent to the OSMC outpatient Surgery Center in Elkhart, Indiana, counts 13 and 14 were for vials sent to the South Bend Clinic.

Racketeering acts 28-52 were related to the second degree murder of patients who received tainted injections.

Racketeering acts 28-35, second degree murder, were related to the deaths of Karina Baxter, Paula Brent, Gayle Gipson, Donna Kruzich, Lyn Laperriere, Mary Plettl, Sally Roe and Emma Todd - all who received shots in Brighton, Michigan.

Racketeering acts 36-42, second degree murder, were related to deaths in Tennessee.

Racketeering acts 43-45, second degree murder, were related to the deaths of Pauline Burema and Kathy Dillon, who received shots in Elkhart and Alice Machowiak, who received a shot in South Bend.

Racketeering acts 46-48, second degree murder, were for deaths in Maryland.

Racketeering acts 49-50, second degree murder, were for deaths in Virginia.

Racketeering acts 51 and 52 were for deaths in Florida and North Carolina.

Racketeering Acts 53-63 - were for the shipments of untested lots.

Racketeering acts 64-68 were for shipping expired drugs.

Racketeering acts 69-78 were for an unlicensed pharmacy technician (Connolly).

All 78 racketeering allegations were covered in count 1 of the indictment.

Count 2 is the racketeering conspiracy charge and includes defendants Cadden, Chin, Svirskiy, Leary, Evanosky, Connolly, Carter, Stepanets.

Count 3 is conspiracy to defraud the United States and includes defendants Cadden, Carter, Stepanets, Greg Conigliaro and Ronzio.

Count 4 is mail fraud and includes defendants Cadden, Chin, Svirskiy, Leary, Evanosky and Connolly.

Counts 57-90 (SIC) are related to the introduction of adulterated drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud and mislead. It includes charges against Cadden, Chin, Svirskiy, Leary and Evanosky.

Counts 91-94 are introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud and mislead - false and misleading labeling and include defendants Cadden, Chin, Svirskiy and Leary.

Counts 95-109 are Introduction of Misbranded Drugs into Interstate Commerce with the Intent to Defraud and Mislead - No Prescriptions and are against defendants Cadden, Stepanets, Kathy Chin and Thomas.

Counts 110 - 127 are criminal contempt against Carla Conigliaro and Doug Conigliaro.

Count 128 - conspiracy to commit structuring against Carla Conigliaro and Doug Conigliaro.

Counts 129, 130 and 131 are structuring against Carla Conigliaro and Doug Conigliaro.

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