Former FDA commissioner Lester Crawford gets three years probation and $90,000 fine

U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson on Tuesday sentenced former FDA commissioner Lester Crawford to three years of supervised probation and ordered him to pay fines of about $90,000 for false reporting and conflicts of interest related to ownership of stocks in companies regulated by the agency, the AP/Washington Times reports.

In addition, Crawford will have to complete 50 hours of community service and pay for the cost of his supervised probation (Yen, AP/Washington Times, 2/28).

Crawford in October 2006 pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges from the Department of Justice in U.S. District Court. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

According to DOJ, Crawford and his wife owned stock in a number of companies regulated by FDA when he held senior positions at the agency but failed to disclose the holdings and made false reports about stocks he and his wife owned (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 1/22).

During a 90-minute sentencing hearing, Crawford said, "I want to assure you that I accept responsibility for what I've done."

He declined to comment after the hearing. Attorney Barbara Van Gelder, who represented Crawford, said that he should have received a lesser sentence because he did not intend to defraud or misuse his position at FDA for personal financial gain.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Sklamberg said, "Lester Crawford behaved in a way that was indifferent to the ethics rules. It was callous and it was arrogant.

But it also was not fraudulent and not part of a grand scheme" (AP/Washington Times, 2/28).


Kaisernetwork.orgThis article is republished with kind permission from our friends at the The Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery of in-depth coverage of health policy developments, debates and discussions. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for Kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Copyright 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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