Glenn Adam Chin, 46, said in U.S. District Court in Boston that he
was "not guilty" of charges he knowingly shipped a tainted steroid
that sickened 700 people in 20 states.
Chin said little in court, answering a magistrate judge's questions
in a soft voice. He has been confined to his Canton, Massachusetts,
home since officials pulled him off a plane last week at the start
of what was to be a family trip to Hong Kong for a wedding.
Chin faces one criminal count, mail fraud, though his attorney,
Stephen Weymouth, said he suspected additional charges would follow.
"He and others will be scapegoats," Weymouth told reporters. "I hate
to say it, but someone has to be made to pay, to be responsible for
what happened to these people. You just have to be sure it's the
right one. I'm just not sure that Mr. Chin is that person."
The U.S. Attorney in Boston has an open criminal investigation into
"Chin and others," said spokeswoman Christina Dilorio Sterling.
Federal prosecutors contend that Chin approved the shipment of
17,000 tainted vials of the medication, used for back pain, despite
knowing they had not been properly sterilized or tested by his
employer, the New England Compounding Center.
At the time of his arrest, his attorney described the move as a
publicity stunt, saying that Chin, a father of two young children,
had no plans to flee the country.
Chin, who has posted a $50,000 bond and surrendered his passport,
left court Thursday without speaking to reporters.
[to top of second column]
If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000
The outbreak pushed NECC, of Framingham, Massachusetts, into
bankruptcy and led to stricter national regulation of custom
medication makers, which had previously escaped the tight oversight
that drug manufacturers face.
A federal bankruptcy court in July approved a deal to settle scores
of lawsuits against NECC, which could pay out as much as $100
million to victims and their families and creditors.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Doina Chiacu)
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