Feds: Ex-CEO of New York-based company is first drug exec indicted in opioid crisis

NEW YORK — The former head of a drug distributor has been indicted on what federal prosecutors say are the first-ever criminal charges against a drug company executive stemming from the opioid crisis.

The indictment unsealed Tuesday alleges former Rochester Drug Co-Operative CEO Laurence Doud III ordered subordinates to ignore red flags about certain customers to maximize company revenues and his own pay.

The Rochester, New York-based company was also charged. The company said it has a deferred prosecution agreement, will pay a $20 million fine to resolve a civil complaint and is implementing a "world-class compliance program."

Doud's lawyer said he intends to "fully defend" himself against the criminal charges. Doud alleges in a lawsuit that Rochester Drug Co-Operative tried using him as a scapegoat for its legal problems.

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