Original post – VRM Wire6
CDC Advisor Poul Thorsen, 49, of Denmark, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Atlanta, Georgia, on charges of wire fraud and money laundering based on a scheme to steal grant money the CDC had awarded to governmental agencies in Denmark for autism research. “Stealing research grant money to line his pockets, as Poul Thorsen stands accused of here today, cheats U.S. taxpayers and will simply not be tolerated,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Region for the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services. “HHS/OIG will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to bring these criminals to justice.”
‘The indictment charges THORSEN with 13 counts of wire fraud and 9 counts of money laundering. The wire fraud counts each carry a maximum of 20 years in prison, and the money laundering counts each carry a maximum of 10 years in prison, with a fine of up to $250,000 for each count. The indictment also contains a forfeiture provision seeking forfeiture of all property derived from the offenses, including an Atlanta residence, two cars, and a Harley Davidson motorcycle. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders. This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health & Human Services and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In the 1990s, THORSEN worked as a visiting scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, when the CDC was soliciting grant applications for research related to infant disabilities. THORSEN successfully promoted the idea of awarding the grant to Denmark and provided input and guidance for the research to be conducted. From 2000 to 2009, the CDC awarded over $11 million to two governmental agencies in Denmark to study the relationship between autism and exposure to vaccines, between cerebral palsy and infection during pregnancy, and between childhood development and fetal alcohol exposure. In 2002, THORSEN moved to Denmark and became the principal investigator for the grant, responsible for administering the research money awarded by the CDC.