Insys founder seeks delay for prison term to appeal conviction

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John Kapoor, the billionaire founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc, arrives at the federal courthouse for the first day of the trial accusing Insys executives of a wide-ranging scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid medication, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Insys Therapeutics founder John Kapoor, the first head of a drug company to be punished for crimes related to the opioid crisis, has asked a federal judge to delay his 5 1/2-year prison sentence while he appeals his conviction for racketeering.

A judge ordered Kapoor, 76, to begin serving his prison term in March, after a jury in Boston convicted him last year of defrauding insurers and bribing doctors to prescribe the company’s powerful opioid painkiller, Subsys.

In a court filing Tuesday, Kapoor’s lawyers said he could wind up serving half of his sentence before his appeals are decided. They cited five issues they contend will result in acquittal or a new trial.

“Because it is uncertain whether Dr. Kapoor’s current sentence of imprisonment will stand if he is successful on appeal, the court should not require that he begin serving that sentence prior to the outcome of that appeal,” his attorneys said.

Federal prosecutors, who had sought 15 years for Kapoor, are appealing his sentence and those of four other executives, who were ordered to serve between a year and 33 months. One executive, former vice president Michael Gurry, also is seeking to delay his sentence while he appeals.

None of the defendants have begun serving their sentences.

The case is U.S. v. Kapoor, 16-cr-10343, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

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