(Corrects spelling of "meningitis" in headline)
BOSTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The owners of the pharmacy linked to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak received at least $16 million in salaries and shareholders distributions in 2012, according to papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
New England Compounding Center owner Carla Conigliaro, the largest shareholder in the privately held company, received nearly $9 million in 2012, according to court papers. Barry Cadden, NECC's chief pharmacist, received about $3.2 million in 2012, filings show.
The filings also showed that NECC, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, also made lease payments for BMW and Mercedes Benz automobiles.
NECC filed for bankruptcy protection last month after U.S. authorities shut down its pharmacy operations amid a meningitis outbreak that has killed 44 people and sickened 678 others, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
NECC shipped thousands of vials of a fungus-tainted steroid to medical facilities throughout the United States, according to authorities. (Reporting by Tim McLaughlin; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)