Last updated: February 20. 2013 3:27AM - 144 Views

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(AP) An attorney says a Massachusetts pharmacy blamed for a nationwide meningitis outbreak paid out more than $70 million to its owners and their other companies in the last six years.

Creditors' attorney David Molton made the disclosure Thursday at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing. At the hearing, Judge Henry Boroff gave a committee of creditors the right to seek a freeze on the New England Compounding Center's assets.

Molton had argued the company had a history of removing its assets.

Boroff also agreed Thursday that an independent trustee should be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy. U.S. Trustee William Harrington is expected to quickly make that appointment.

A steroid produced by the Framingham-based pharmacy has been linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak that's killed 44. The firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December.

Associated Press
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