BOSTON (WWLP) – The former director of the now-defunct New England Compounding Center was sentenced for defrauding the Food and Drug Administration.
Sharron Carter of Hopkinton will spend five months in prison, and one year of supervised release along with a $4,000 fine. In 2012, more than 100 patients died, after contracting a fungal infection, from a contaminated injection manufactured by NECC.
“One may think that making misrepresentations or lying to federal regulators is a victimless crime. This case proves otherwise. In her role as Director of Operations, Ms. Carter conspired to deceive regulators into treating NECC as a lawfully operating pharmacy,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “The victims in this case – all trusting, innocent people – were simply seeking pain relief. Instead, those who survived were sentenced to a lifetime of anguish and trauma. This sentence speaks to my office’s ongoing commitment to the safety and protection of our residents in all areas of life and ensuring those who seek to do harm are held accountable.”
“As NECC’s director of operations, Sharon Carter conspired with her colleagues to lie to federal regulators to perpetrate a massive fraud scheme that harmed hundreds of people across the country whose lives will never be the same. Our thoughts are with them as Ms. Carter is finally held responsible for her role in one of the worst public health crises in U.S. history,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “While she now heads to prison, rest assured the FBI, and our law enforcement partners will continue to work to bring others who like her, violate the law and put patients at risk to justice.”
“FDA depends upon truthful representations from regulated firms, especially in the area of high-risk drug compounding, in order to help protect consumers from potentially unsafe products,” said Fernando McMillan, Special Agent in Charge of the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office. “We are grateful that those at NECC who violated this essential principle, including Ms. Carter, have been brought to justice.”
“Our nation’s veterans deserve the highest quality healthcare services, and this sentence demonstrates the VA OIG’s commitment to diligently investigating any potential criminal activity that could threaten the safety of VA’s patients,” said Special Agent in Charge Christopher Algieri with the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General’s Northeast Field Office. “The VA OIG appreciates the support of the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their efforts to achieve justice in this case.”
“This case demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to the safety and health of the American public,” said Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division. “The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, along with our federal law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate and take action against those who take part in this type of atrocious behavior.”
It was revealed that while they posed as a pharmacy dispensing only patient prescriptions, they were actually shipping drugs in Bulk across the nation, evading regulators through fraud and misinformation.