Pharmacy Owner Acquitted Of Murder In Meningitis Outbreak That Caused 64 Deaths

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The former head of a MA pharmacy was acquitted Wednesday of murder allegations but convicted of racketeering and other crimes in a meningitis outbreak that was traced to fungus-contaminated drugs and killed 64 people across the country. Federal prosecutors in 2014 charged Cadden and twelve others, alleging that drugs distributed by the pharmacy contained expired, untested ingredients and that officials mass produced drugs for fictitious patients.

Cadden's sentencing was set for June 21.

Following about 20 hours of deliberation by the jury, Cadden was found guilty of racketeering, conspiracy and mail fraud but not guilty of the second degree murder and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

During the case, prosecutors portrayed Cadden as someone who cut corners and failed to follow industry regulations for cleanliness and sterility. Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee were hit hardest. In 2013, in reaction to the outbreak, Congress increased federal oversight of such pharmacies.

The jury has reached a verdict in the Barry Cadden trial, the U.S. Attorney's office announced at about 9:45 a.m.

During the nine-week trial, Cadden's defense lawyer Bruce Singal argued to the courts there was no evidence that pointed to the 50-year-old that implied murder, USA Today said.

The outbreak killed 76 people nationwide, with at least 15 of those deaths related to tainted steroid injections received in Livingston County. He has pleaded not guilty.

After the outbreak, regulators found multiple potential sources of contamination, including standing water, mold and bacteria in the air and on workers' gloved fingertips.

NECC filed for bankruptcy after getting hit with hundreds of lawsuits.