Department of Justice drops charges against McDonald Hopkins client Miami-Luken
McDonald Hopkins would like to congratulate our client Miami-Luken on the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to dismiss its criminal indictment, which charged the company for violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
The decision comes after Richard Blake, Chair of McDonald Hopkins’ Government Compliance, Investigations and White Collar Defense Practice Group, and other members of the defense team worked aggressively for years to challenge the government’s case, insisting that the government’s interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act was overly broad and that the parties had no criminal liability whatsoever. Miami-Luken and four individuals were originally indicted in 2019 with conspiracy to illegally distribute controlled substances.
“We appreciate the United States Attorney’s willingness to review and overturn the decision to file criminal charges,” said Blake. “There is a difference between criminal intent and administrative errors, particularly where unclear government regulations are involved. Unfortunately, some prosecutors and agents immediately assume that a party acted with criminal intent and conduct their investigations with that goal in mind.”
Throughout the time period in question, from about 2008 to 2015, Miami-Luken sought guidance from the Drug Enforcement Administration on numerous occasions as to whether they should limit or cease sales to certain pharmacies and physicians. The DEA provided no guidance, telling management that their decision to sell or not sell was a business decision for Miami-Luken to make. During that same time period, not only did the DEA increase its opioid production quota for drug manufacturers by more than 150%, but Miami-Luken reported all of its sales data on a daily basis – providing the DEA with regular information on the number of pills distributed and to whom they were sold.
These factors alone, Blake argued from the beginning, were enough to demonstrate no criminal intent on the part of Miami-Luken and its management.
“The impact on individuals and companies subjected to these actions is devastating. Even before indictment, parties such as medical providers face the likelihood of search warrants at their homes and businesses, suspension from government insurance programs and damage to their reputations,” said Blake. “Should they be indicted, they are subject to arrest, freezing of their assets, loss of employment, damning press releases from the Department of Justice, and the nightmarish reality that their lives will never be the same.”