Originally created 09/12/98

Attorneys in Borison case make last pretrial motions



With Richard Borison's trial just two weeks away, attorneys argued a final set of motions Friday in Richmond County Superior Court.

At stake in this latest round of pretrial maneuvers is documents and possessions seized from Dr. Borison's home, office, storage facilities and his father's home that prosecutors plan to use to try to convince a jury that Dr. Borison defrauded the Medical College of Georgia of more than $10 million in research money.

Judge Bernard J. Mulherin Sr. took the motions under advisement Friday and told attorneys he would rule as soon as possible.

Dr. Borison has pleaded not guilty to the charges -- 82 counts of theft by taking, 10 counts of theft of services, 15 counts of making false statements, one count of conspiracy to violate the state Controlled Substance Act, two counts of state income tax evasion, one count of bribery, and one count of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act.

On Friday, defense attorney Michael Garrett argued that evidence seized by use of search warrants in February should not be allowed as trial evidence.

Mr. Garrett contended the sworn statement used to obtain the warrants wasn't detailed enough to explain why investigators believed evidence might be found in the areas searched.

Assistant Attorney General David McLaughlin countered that his office's chief investigator, Richard Hyde, not only had factual information about the location of documents, but corroborating information from informants and other sources.

Simple common sense also dictated that a massive fraud would generate thousands of documents and those papers could be found in locations where business documents were kept, Mr. McLaughlin said.

Dr. Borison remains free on a $1 million bond and is practicing medicine. He and fellow MCG researcher, Bruce Diamond, resigned from their positions at the college in June 1996. Dr. Borison had been chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, and Dr. Diamond was a professor in the department.

Prosecutors allege the two researchers diverted more than $10 million in research funds from MCG from 1989 until June 1996 as they tested drugs' effectiveness for psychiatric conditions such as depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Diamond pleaded guilty to reduced charges Dec. 16 and received a five-year prison sentence followed by 10 years on probation.

He also received a $125,000 fine and a court order to pay $1.1 million restitution to the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

He is expected to testify at Dr. Borison's trial.