© Reuters. John Kapoor arrives at the federal courthouse in Boston

BOSTON (Reuters) – A federal judge on Tuesday partially overturned the conviction of Insys Therapeutics Inc’s founder and three former executives accused of bribing doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid, but declined to disturb the remainder of the jury’s verdict.

U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs in Boston ruled the evidence prosecutors presented at trial did not support finding that John Kapoor and the others intended for doctors to prescribe the drug, Subsys, to patients who did not need it.

She said intent was needed to find that they conspired to violate the Controlled Substances Act and committed honest services fraud, some of the so-called predicate acts that formed the basis of their racketeering conspiracy convictions.

The judge denied Kapoor’s request for a new trial on the remaining convictions for mail fraud and wire fraud, saying the “evidence strongly supported his agreement to be a member of the conspiracy.”

Burroughs said she only “very reluctantly” was overturning part of the jury’s May guilty verdict in the case, and said her ruling should not be taken as condoning the “reprehensible” behavior of Kapoor and his co-defendants.

“Defendants knew the power of Subsys and that addiction was a risk, but nonetheless tried to maximize the number of prescriptions written and the dosage prescribed,” she wrote.

A lawyer for Kapoor and a spokeswoman for the prosecution did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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