Researcher to head back to court

A former Medical College of Georgia researcher who did prison time for cheating the university out of more than $10 million will be back in court later this summer.

 

Richard Borison, 58, who was paroled in March after nearly a decade behind bars, is asking the court to void his conviction and sentence.

In his newest legal petition, Dr. Borison contends the majority of his convictions are unconstitutional because he was punished twice for the same conduct -- first under the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act and again under the charges of theft and false statements.

The theft and statements charges were listed as predicator acts in the RICO charge, the petition alleges.

Dr. Borison's attorney, McNeill Stokes of Atlanta, said Monday that they are just trying to get Dr. Borison back on his feet and shorten the time he must be on probation.

Dr. Borison and former research partner Bruce Diamond defrauded MCG of $10 million to $11.5 million in research funds that they pocketed instead of turning over to the school.

Dr. Diamond, who earned a doctorate in health science, pleaded guilty first and was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years on probation. He also agreed never to engage in patient studies again.

Dr. Borison and Dr. Diamond both joined MCG in 1981. Dr. Borison's career flourished and he became the chairman of the school's department of psychiatry and health behavior. The doctors teamed up to run clinical trials, testing new drugs to treat mental illnesses. The money came from pharmaceutical companies.

A hearing for Dr. Borison's petition is set for Sept. 9. His case has been assigned to Richmond County Superior Court Judge Duncan D. Wheale.

Staff writer Tom Corwin contributed to this report.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

BACKGROUND: Noted medical researcher Richard Borison, who had been a Medical College of Georgia department head, and colleague Bruce Diamond pocketed money paid by pharmaceutical companies to conduct human drug studies. The medicines tested were to treat mental illnesses.

TAKING A PLEA: In the midst of his trial in October 1998, Dr. Borison opted to plead guilty to 36 criminal charges of theft, false statements and violation of the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.

SENTENCE: Dr. Borison was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 15 years' probation, fined $125,000 and ordered to pay $4.26 million in restitution. He was released earlier this year after serving about 10 years in prison.

-- From staff reports


BACK STORY:

In the midst of his trial in October 1998, noted medical researcher Richard Borison opted to plead guilty to 36 criminal charges of theft, false statements and violation of the state's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by 15 years probation, fined $125,000 and ordered to pay $4.26 million in restitution. Dr. Borison, who had been a Medical College of Georgia department head, and colleague Bruce Diamond pocketed money paid by pharmaceutical companies to conduct human drug studies. The medicines were tested to treat mental illnesses.

Dr. Borison was released earlier this year after serving about 10 years in prison.