NY AG uncovers $1 billion in Sackler family wire transfers amid opioid probe: report

The New York Attorney General's Office has allegedly uncovered $1 billion in wire transfers by the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, which could suggest attempts to hide its wealth as it faces litigation over its role in the opioid crisis.

The transfers include some done through Swiss bank accounts, The New York Times reported. 

State Attorney General Letitia James (D) reportedly issued subpoenas last month to 33 financial institutions and investment advisers in an attempt to fully discover the family's wealth.

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"While the Sacklers continue to lowball victims and skirt a responsible settlement, we refuse to allow the family to misuse the courts in an effort to shield their financial misconduct," James told the Times in a statement. "Records from one financial institution alone have shown approximately $1 billion in wire transfers between the Sacklers, entities they control, and different financial institutions, including those that have funneled funds into Swiss bank accounts."

Court documents filed by James's office on Friday reportedly show initial findings from one unnamed financial institution. The filing reportedly shows a series of transfers by former Purdue board member Mortimer D.A. Sackler.

“Already, these records have allowed the state to identify previously unknown shell companies that one of the Sackler defendants used to shift Purdue money through accounts around the world and then conceal it in at least two separate multimillion-dollar real estate investments back here in New York, sanitized [until now] of any readily detectable connections to the Sackler family," wrote lawyer David E. Nachman from James's office in a letter to the court, according to the Times. 

Purdue Pharma declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Mortimer D.A. Sackler dismissed allegations surrounding the wire transfers.

"There is nothing newsworthy about these decade-old transfers, which were perfectly legal and appropriate in every respect. This is a cynical attempt by a hostile AG's office to generate defamatory headlines to try to torpedo a mutually beneficial settlement that is supported by so many other states and would result in billions of dollars going to communities and individuals across the country that need help," the spokesperson told The Hill.

The revelations come as Purdue Pharma has reached a multibillion-dollar tentative settlement with state and local governments over its alleged role in the opioid crisis.  

Updated: 7:52 p.m.