New England Compounding Center Supervising Pharmacist Arrested at Logan International Airport
WASHINGTON—A Canton, Massachusetts, man was arrested today at Boston’s Logan International Airport in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation of New England Compounding Center (NECC) by the Justice Department’s Civil Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
Glenn Adam Chin, 46, was attempting to board a plane to Hong Kong when he was arrested by federal authorities on one count of mail fraud. He is scheduled to appear before Chief Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts later today. The maximum sentence under the statute is 20 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch have conducted an active ongoing criminal investigation of NECC since the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak began in the fall of 2012. Following the outbreak, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 751 patients across the country were diagnosed with a fungal infection after receiving injections of preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate, or MPA, compounded at NECC. The CDC reported that of those 751 patients, 64 died.
Chin was a supervising pharmacist at NECC who was involved in compounding the contaminated MPA that caused the outbreak. The criminal complaint charges Chin with participating in a scheme to fraudulently cause one lot of MPA to be labeled as injectable, meaning that it was sterile and fit for human use, and shipped to one of NECC’s customers, Michigan Pain Specialists. As alleged in the affidavit, after receiving the MPA from NECC, doctors at Michigan Pain Specialists injected the drug into their patients believing it to be injectable as labeled. As a result, 217 of those patients contracted fungal meningitis, and 15 of those patients died.
Although the criminal investigation of Chin and others is ongoing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged and arrested Chin today after federal authorities learned that he was planning to leave the country on an international flight that was scheduled to depart this morning.
If you are a victim in the NECC matter you may call the U.S. Attorney’s Office victim assistance message line at 888-221-6023 or e-mail email@example.com to obtain case status information or assistance. You may also find information at: http://www.justice.gov/usao/ma/news.html.
U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery for the Civil Division; Acting Special Agent in Charge James Royal of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; Special Agent in Charge Vincent Lisi of the FBI’s Boston Field Division; Inspector in Charge Kevin Niland of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Hughes of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General Northeast Field Office and Resident Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service-Office of Inspector General in Boston, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by George P. Varghese and Amanda P.M. Strachan of U.S. Attorney Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit, and John W.M. Claud of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch.
The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.