Ex-BMS exec finishes book, and sentence, in conviction

A former Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) executive has completed his sentence. In fact, he has completed quite a few sentences as part of an unusual punishment for his conviction for lying to regulators during negotiations over a generic version of Bristol's Plavix blood thinner.

When Andrew G. Bodnar pleaded guilty in 2009, the judge ordered the former Harvard English major to write a book about his experiences with the idea that it might serve as an example to others, reports The Wall Street Journal. The 253-page book has now been entered electronically into the court record, and therefore is theoretically available to anyone with an account for accessing federal court documents.

The WSJ says the book recounts Bodnar's immigrant life, starting when he escaped communist Hungary as an 8-year-old and includes special insight into the Plavix case, including his questioning by then-U.S. attorney, now New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

In 2006, generic drugmaker Apotex was preparing to release a copy of Plavix, which was seen as a huge threat to the blockbuster drug. The companies reached an agreement to settle litigation but Bodnar had worked at a side agreement favorable to Bristol with an executive of Apotex. Bodnar was indicted on charges of hiding the secret deal from the Federal Trade Commission, The New York Times wrote at the time. The deal with Apotex unraveled, Apotex released the drug, and the two companies only recently ended litigation, with Apotex being ordered to pay BMS and its partner, Sanofi ($SNY), $444 million.

Bristol-Myers pleaded guilty in the case and paid a $1 million fine. The scandal is believed to have been part of the reason that former Bristol CEO Peter Dolan left in 2006, says The Times.

For his part, Bodnar received two years of probation and a $5,000 fine, and the sentence to write the book. Neither he nor the Department of Justice would comment to the newspaper, but in the book, Bodnar seems unrepentant. He wrote that the Justice Department had a "mistaken belief that I had made a statement to the government that I knew to be false." He also wrote that the Justice Department is not opposed to "destroying an innocent life." 

- here's the WSJ piece
- and the earlier New York Times story