According to California’s Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, Tri Minh Do, MD, embezzled $46,000 in ACR funding meant to reimburse Valley Medical Center in San Jose for prostate cancer research and used it pay personal bills.
Do, 45, is charged with felony misappropriation of public funds and faces up to four years in prison if convicted. He is scheduled to be arraigned in San Jose on Sept. 13.
Deputy District Attorney Judy Lee told the local NBC affiliate that Do was able to convert the research funds into personal funds by setting up a bank account with a “doing business as” name of Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center. Instead of delivering the checks to the hospital, he cashed them into that account and then wrote checks from the account for personal needs.
“He spent the money to pay off his credit cards,” Lee said in the NBC story. “He also wrote checks to himself and checks to help his parents pay off their mortgage.
News reports left it unclear if actual research into prostate cancer was being done for the money. The hospital only became aware of the situation after Do stopped working there late last year and the checks from the ACR kept coming.
In a statement sent to NBC, the ACR said it had cooperated with the authorities in their investigation for several months.
According to the hospital, Do earned $293,000 in base pay last year. He also received a $93,000 lump sum when he cashed out his vacation and sick leave. The district attorney’s office and Healthgrades report that he is currently practicing in Fresno, Calif.