Researcher Charged With Conflict

By | December 4, 2006

Researcher Charged With Conflict

In a rare federal prosecution, a leading government Alzheimer’s researcher was charged Monday with a criminal conflict of interest for performing lucrative private drug company work that overlapped his official duties.

Prosecutors alleged Dr. Trey Sunderland of the National Institutes of Health received $285,000 in improper consulting fees and travel expenses from Pfizer…, Inc., for work on early indicators of Alzheimer’s at the same time he also oversaw similar NIH business with the drugmaker.

The private consulting “directly related” to his government job, and Sunderland failed to obtain the proper approvals from his supervisors or disclose the work to NIH, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Prosecutors filed the charge as a criminal information, instead of indictment, signaling the possibility of a plea deal. – forbes

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