Former Acclarent CEO acquitted on DOJ felony charges over sinus device

Former Acclarent CEO Bill Facteau has dealt with his fair share of legal drama after the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused him of improperly marketing one of the company’s sinus surgery devices. Now Facteau is celebrating a bright point after a federal jury let him off the hook for some of the more severe charges.

A jury in federal court acquitted Facteau on 14 pending felony counts stemming from an indictment in April 2015. The charges included one count of conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud and 10 counts of felony adulteration and misbranding. Four additional counts were dismissed before trial.

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies for Facteau. The same jury found the former med tech helmsman guilty of 10 misdemeanor counts.

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Facteau’s attorney, Reid Weingarten, plans to appeal the misdemeanor charges. The legal team “will fight vigorously” and “will not rest until Mr. Facteau is completely vindicated,” Weingarten said in a statement.

Facteau doesn’t seem too concerned about the remaining charges. “We are confident that the misdemeanors will also be successfully addressed,” he said in a statement. “I’m gratified that the jury rejected the Department of Justice’s attempt to tarnish Acclarent’s hard won reputation and that of its former employees.”

Acclarent, which sold out to Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) for $785 million in 2010, makes balloon sinuplasty devices. The DOJ claimed that Acclarent employees intentionally tried to defraud the FDA and J&J by commercializing an FDA-cleared device, Stratus, beyond its approval.

In particular, the DOJ said that Facteau and Patrick Fabian, Acclarent’s former VP of sales, launched Stratus as a steroid delivery device. The FDA had only approved the device to open a patient’s sinus and had already rejected a request by the company to market the device for drug delivery purposes, the DOJ said in a statement.

- read the statement
- here’s the DOJ release

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