Capital Region Legal News

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Chipotle Chain Facing another Crisis as Executive Faces Drug Charges

Is a top executive at Chipotle really facing drug charges?

As if Chipotle, the Mexican food restaurant, weren't having enough trouble after an E. coli outbreak last year, not to mention other subsequent health scares, one of its top executives has now been arrested on charges of cocaine possession. Mark Crumpacker, its chief creative and development officer of Marketing, turned himself in to NYPD Sgt. Lee Jones this past week. According to his attorney, Crumpacker, who is 53 years old, was arrested on seven counts of possession of a controlled substance and released on $4,500 cash bail.

The timing of the arrest was extremely unfortunate for the restaurant chain which has been trying to make a comeback since the E. coli outbreak last year that sent their sales plummeting. Not only that, but there have been several other health scares tied to Chipotle in different parts of the country. Ironically, in trying to remove the tarnish to its name that resulted from food-borne illnesses connected with its restaurants, the chain has been trying various marketing techniques to incentivize sales that may have been initiated by Crumpacker himself.

Now trying to cope with this latest business catastrophe, the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain has announced that it will launch a 3-month loyalty program called "Chiptopia Summer Rewards" to encourage revitalized business through the summer months.

The restaurant chain reported that it has placed Crumpacker on leave following a New York Daily News story reporting that he was one of 18 customers of a cocaine ring named in an indictment by the Manhattan District Attorney's office. The indictment charges that he bought cocaine on many dates between January 29th and May 14th of this year, during the time period that he was trying to manage the serious repercussions of the food scares. There is further irony in the fact that one of his cocaine purchases was made on the same day Chipotle temporarily closed a Massachusetts store in which there was the suspicion that several employees had norovirus.

Crumpacker has taken what seems to be a mighty fall since, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, he earned $4.3 million as a Chipotle executive last year. Nonetheless, like everyone else in this country, Crumpacker is innocent until proven guilty and deserves a vigorous legal defense.

If you are confronting drug or other criminal charges, please consult with our excellent criminal defense attorneys at Ianniello Anderson. We serve clients in the Albany, Clifton Park, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Troy, and the entire Northeastern NY areas and can be reached at 518.350.7755.

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