(Reuters) – US Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by Insys Therapeutics Inc. founder John Kapoor and another former chief drugmaker to overturn their convictions for plotting to bribe doctors to prescribe addictive opioids and deceive insurance companies to pay for them.
The judges rejected appeals from Mr. Kapoor, the former CEO of Insys, and Sunrise Lee, a former regional sales director, of their 2019 convictions by a jury in federal court in Boston accused of blackmailing conspiracy.
Mr Kapoor is serving a 5-1 / 2-year prison sentence and is the highest-ranking executive convicted of the opioid-related crime that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans over the past two decades.
Mr Kapoor̵7;s lawyers declined to comment. A lawyer for Ms. Lee, who has already completed a one-year prison sentence, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The jury found them guilty of participating in a comprehensive program to bribe doctors across the country by allowing them to act as speakers at sham events that are ostensibly designed to train doctors about the company’s fentanyl spray, Subsys.
Mr Kapoor’s lawyers in a petition filed in January with the Supreme Court argued that a non-physician like him could not be convicted of agreeing with a physician to illegally distribute drugs if the physician believed he or she acted in good faith.
The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2021 upheld his conviction as well as the convictions of four other former corporate officials who were put together with him, including Lee.
The verdicts for blackmailing conspiracy were based on the jury’s conclusion that Mr. Kapoor and others conspired to commit crimes including illegal distribution of controlled substance.