OIG Fugitive: Poul Thorsen

30 Oct

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lists Paul Thorsen as their number one fugitive and states that he is in his home country of Denmark awaiting extradition to the U.S. to stand trial.

The OIG statement on Paul Thorsen is below. He is alleged to have defrauded the U.S. government by diverting funds intended to support research contracted by the CDC.

While he is indicted on multiple counts of wire fraud and money laundering, there is no crime involved in the massive breach of the public trust involved. Poul Thorsen’s group’s work included studies into the alleged link between vaccines and autism. His indictment has been and is being exploited by groups who wish to cast doubt on his entire group’s efforts and the results they found. There is no charge, no crime for the damage potentially done to public health efforts.

Here is the OIG statement:

From approximately February 2004 until February 2010, Poul Thorsen executed a scheme to steal grant money awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC had awarded grant money to Denmark for research involving infant disabilities, autism, genetic disorders, and fetal alcohol syndrome. CDC awarded the grant to fund studies of the relationship between autism and the exposure to vaccines, the relationship between cerebral palsy and infection during pregnancy, and the relationship between developmental outcomes and fetal alcohol exposure.
Thorsen worked as a visiting scientist at CDC, Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, before the grant was awarded.
The initial grant was awarded to the Danish Medical Research Council. In approximately 2007, a second grant was awarded to the Danish Agency for Science, Technology, and Innovation. Both agencies are governmental agencies in Denmark. The research was done by the Aarhaus University and Odense University Hospital in Denmark.
Thorsen allegedly diverted over $1 million of the CDC grant money to his own personal bank account. Thorsen submitted fraudulent invoices on CDC letterhead to medical facilities assisting in the research for reimbursement of work allegedly covered by the grants. The invoices were addressed to Aarhaus University and Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The fact that the invoices were on CDC letterhead made it appear that CDC was requesting the money from Aarhaus University and Sahlgrenska University Hospital although the bank account listed on the invoices belonged to Thorsen.
In April 2011, Thorsen was indicted on 22 counts of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering.
According to bank account records, Thorsen purchased a home in Atlanta, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, an Audi automobile, and a Honda SUV with funds that he received from the CDC grants.
Thorsen is currently in Denmark and is awaiting extradition to the United States.

11 Responses to “OIG Fugitive: Poul Thorsen”

  1. Science Mom October 30, 2012 at 16:33 #

    They’ll grasp at anything but the fact is, is that Dr. Thorsen had no input or anything to do with the data collection and generation of the results for the Danish vaccine-autism studies. He’s wanted for fraud that had nothing to do with those studies and he should be tried accordingly. Ironic considering “they” have a real fraud leading them who has been found guilty of abusing special needs children and who did cook data. But why let a little detail like that deter them.

    • Lara Lohne October 30, 2012 at 17:55 #

      @Science Mom, there’s a difference between Wakefield and Thorsen though. After all, Wakefield is the brave, independent maverick who was conducting his research out of the goodness of his heart and had no financial ulterior motives and Dr. Thorsen works for the evil, greedy government who controls (or are they controlled by, I can’t keep them straight) big pharma and is obviously greedy since he took so much money for himself. Since Wakefield was trying to uncover a coverup, his fraudulent actions are acceptable, where as Thorsen, gee, all he really cared about was the money.

      Obviously the above is dripping with copious amounts of sarcasm, but I agree with Sullivan. Thorsen’s actions were irresponsible, and while thinking people are able to separate the one man from the data (since the two really are not connected at all), since many people don’t think, but respond from emotional reactions, his actions unfortunately are seen to taint the entire study, which isn’t right. Because of one man’s greed, years of research has been deemed unreliable by many people and they are spreading their poisonous position as far and wide as the internet will allow them to. It is because of his actions that so many believe the study results themselves are flawed, even though this individual played no part in the data part of the study and was strictly in charge of the financial part and allocating funds. His actions have hurt public health, and I believe, aside from the actual fraud charges, he should be held accountable for what his actions have done to world vaccination efforts.

      • Lawrence October 30, 2012 at 18:51 #

        @Lara – they can’t attack the Science, so they find a convenient scapegoat….typical anti-vax behavior.

      • Kettle January 12, 2013 at 05:48 #

        Hello Pot!

  2. Andrew November 1, 2012 at 19:20 #

    Eurgh. Sometimes I feel almost too disgusted. Sullivan, is there a way I can ask you how to make a good website like your own? I feel I have beliefs and facts I need to share

  3. Anne August 17, 2014 at 04:22 #

    Wait, so is the US Government both conspiring with Thorsen and prosecuting him at the same time? Or what? I don’t get it.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 17, 2014 at 04:31 #

      I guess the story must go like a “mission impossible” theme. “If you or any of your impossible mission force are captured or killed, the head of the CDC will disavow all knowledge of your actions”. People probably think the money wasn’t stolen but was a payoff with the knowledge of the CDC. When it was discovered they made up the story of embezzlement to cover their tracks. That’s why he hasn’t been extradited. They don’t want him to spill the beans. Or something like that.


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