Lawyer 'put loyalty to GSK over law'
Prosecutors told a Maryland federal court jury in late April that former GlaxoSmithKline associate general counsel Lauren Stevens put loyalty to the company above fidelity to the truth and the law when she covered up the company's illegal marketing of Wellbutrin.
She is charged with one count of obstructing an official proceeding, one count of falsifying and concealing documents, and four counts of making false statements. The first two charges carry a maximum of 20 years in prison and the others could bring terms of up to five years.
Stevens is charged with impeding an FDA 2002 and 2003 inquiry into the marketing of Wellbutrin for unapproved uses.
“This is a case about a lawyer who went too far, from aggressively representing her company to breaking the law,” said Department of Justice attorney Patrick Jasperse.
Stevens' attorney told the jury that she never intended to mislead FDA and that she relied on the advice of GSK's in-house attorneys and an outside law firm in preparing her responses for FDA. “Everything she did in this case was utterly inconsistent with an intent to deceive the government,” said defense attorney Reid Weingarten. He said she made a good faith effort to respond to the government while properly protecting her client. —JGD