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ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEA IN MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA FRAUD CASE

PRESS ADVISORY

ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEA IN MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA FRAUD CASE

December 16, 1997

Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker and District Attorney Danny Craig of the Augusta Circuit announced today that Bruce I. Diamond, Ph.D., has pleaded guilty to criminal charges arising out of his participation in a scheme to divert millions of dollars in Medical College of Georgia research funds into privately held companies. Diamond is a former professor of pharmacology at the Medical College. Diamond pleaded guilty to 53 counts, including 16 counts of theft by taking, 10 counts of theft of services, and numerous counts of unlawfully prescribing dangerous drugs and controlled substances, acquisition of controlled substances by misrepresentation, practicing medicine without a license, making false statements, and bribery.

In a negotiated plea, Diamond was sentenced by Richmond County Superior Court Judge Albert Pickett to a prison term of five years followed by ten years probation. In addition, Diamond was sentenced to pay a fine of $125,000 and restitution in the amount of $1.1 million.

Diamond was indicted in February of this year in a 172 count indictment alleging that he, along with his co-defendant, Richard L. Borison, M.D., carried out a scheme through which more than $10,000,000 was stolen from the Medical College of Georgia. The charges against Dr. Borison remain pending.

Attorney General Baker stated, "This is one of the largest – and I consider it one of the most important – criminal prosecutions the attorney general’s office has ever handled. The amount of public money involved, and the integrity of the clinical trials process in this country, make this case critically important to all of us."