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Pharmacist dodges murder rap in criminal defense

A New York pharmacist is facing serious sanctions during his criminal trial for actions that led to the deaths of multiple patients. The man mounted a criminal defense against allegations of mail fraud, racketeering, and second-degree murder in the case. After being convicted of the white collar crimes - but acquitted for the second-degree murder charges - the man is now awaiting sentencing that is set for June.

The defendant, the owner of a compounding pharmacy, was accused of selling contaminated drugs that ultimately killed numerous patients. When inspectors visited his facility, they found unsanitary conditions that led to the illnesses. They also accused the man of manufacturing drugs at his facility instead of simply compounding them - as a result of those actions, 65 people died from ingesting the defendant's pharmaceutical products.

Even though the man was convicted of the racketeering and fraud charges, he was acquitted of charges of second-degree murder. When many clients think about a murder charge, they imagine a premeditated situation, or perhaps a "crime of passion." You probably do not think of manufacturers or business owners being charged for murder for selling a faulty product - indeed, there is a high burden of proof to meet. However, this high-stakes charge is not altogether unheard of when it comes to distributing a dangerous product.

Those who are facing a criminal charge because of a faulty product produced or distributed by their businesses should take the allegations seriously. A criminal conviction for these business-related charges carries the same weight as an allegation against a private citizen. A criminal defense attorney can help you learn more about your legal rights and options if you have been accused.

Source: Modern Medicine Network, "NECC and Future of Compounding Pharmacy: Compounding pharmacist's case hinged on whether he was "willfully indifferent."," Nicholas Hamm, April 18, 2017

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