Originally published April 28 2011
CDC vaccine scientist who downplayed links to autism indicted by DOJ in alleged fraud scheme
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) CDC researcher Poul Thorsen, who famously headed up the "Denmark Study" that many claim disproved any link between autism and vaccines, has been indicted in Atlanta by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, money laundering and defrauding research institutions of grant money.
Poul Thorson is a scientist who formerly worked for the CDC, and over the last several years, he oversaw millions of dollars in grant money that was used to conduct research to "prove" that vaccines have no link to autism. Dr. Thorson's research papers include the famous "Danish Study" entitled Thimerosal and the occurrence of autism: negative ecological evidence from Danish population-based data. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12949291)
This paper concludes that thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative used in vaccines around the world, has no statistically significant link to autism. It is one of the key papers used by vaccination proponents who argue that thimerosal is safe to inject into young children. That Poul Thorson's credibility is now being called into question by a federal indictment of fraud and money laundering will, of course, have ripple effects throughout both the vaccine industries and autism support groups (more about that below).
Be sure to see our "Web of Alleged Fraud" chart which accompanies this article: http://www.naturalnews.com/files/Web-of-Alle...
Follow the moneyAccording to the official announcement of the indictment, Thorsen was awarded grant money by the CDC as far back as the 1990s. He arranged for the grant money to be awarded to an entity in Denmark, where he provided "input and guidance" for the research projects.
From 2000 to 2009, the CDC awarded $11 million in grant money to two Denmark government agencies to study, among other things, the possible link between vaccines and autism. In 2002, Thorsen moved to Denmark and became the "principal investigator" for the grant money, responsible for administering the research money that the CDC awarded.
But here's where things get interesting: According to the Dept. of Justice, Thorsen began allegedly stealing grant money by submitting fraudulent expense documents that were supposedly related to the Danish study. These fraudulent expense documents were given to the Danish government, Aarhus University and Odense University Hospital, the institutions involved in the research.
From February 2004 through June 2008, says the DOJ indictment, Thorsen allegedly submitted over a dozen fraudulent invoices requesting reimbursement for expenses that were fabricated. Interestingly, these allegedly fraudulent invoices were signed by a laboratory section chief at the CDC, indicating that someone inside the CDC was either duped by Thorsen or potentially involved in the alleged fraud.
What was Thorsen claiming in these allegedly fraudulent invoices requesting reimbursement? He claimed that a CDC laboratory had conducted work in conjunction with the research and was owed funds out of the grant money. These invoices were then handed over to Aarhus University, where Thorsen held a faculty position. Aarhus then transferred "hundreds of thousands of dollars to bank accounts held at the CDC Federal Credit Union in Atlanta," says the DOJ.
But here's the clever part: Those bank accounts were not official CDC accounts at all. They were allegedly private bank accounts belonging to none other than Dr. Poul Thorsen.
Once the money was transferred into Thorsen's private accounts, Thorsen "allegedly withdrew it for his own personal use, buying a home in Atlanta, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and Audi and Honda vehicles, and obtaining numerous cashier's checks, from the fraud proceeds," says the DOJ.
According to government documents, Dr. Poul Thorsen, one of the key researchers in "disproving" any link between vaccines and autism, allegedly defrauded the scientific research community of over one million dollars.
See the chart we've assembled for this to help show you the web of money and influence at work here:
Aarhus distances itself from ThorsenMore details are revealed through a statement issued in January by Aarhus University, which sought to sever its ties with Thorsen. It says, "Unfortunately, a considerable shortfall in funding at Aarhus University associated with the CDC grant was discovered. In investigating the shortfalls associated with the grant, DASTI and Aarhus University became aware of two alleged CDC funding documents as well as a letter regarding funding commitments allegedly written by Randolph B. Williams of CDC's Procurement Grants Office which was used to secure advances from Aarhus University. Upon investigation by CDC, a suspicion arose that the documents are forgeries." (http://www.rescuepost.com/files/thorsen-aarhus-1.pdf)
This letter goes on to state that Dr Thorsen was essentially hoodwinking others into thinking he was still a faculty member at Aarhus University:
In March 2009, Dr. Thorsen resigned his faculty position at Aarhus University. In the meantime, it has come to the attention of Aarhus University that Dr Thomsen has continued to act in such a manner as to create the impression that he still retains a connection to Aarhus University after the termination of his employment by the university. Furthermore, it has come to the attention of Aarhus University that Dr Poul Thorsen has held full-time positions at both Emory University and Aarhus University simultaneously. Dr Thorsen's double Full-time employment was unauthorised by Aarhus University, and he engaged in this employment situation despite the express prohibition of Aarhus University.
The federal indictment against ThorsenToday, Thorsen is facing 13 counts of wire fraud and 9 counts of money laundering. NaturalNews spoke with the Department of Justice and confirmed that extradition proceedings are under way to bring Thorsen to the United States from Denmark, although no particular timetable for that extradition has been announced.
Thorsen now faces up to 260 years in prison from the wire fraud charges, and up to an additional 90 years in prison for the money laundering charges, plus a total of $22.5 million in possible fines. In addition, the federal indictment also contains a so-called "forfeiture provision" which seeks the forfeiture of the personal property Dr. Thorsen allegedly purchased with money he stole from the CDC's grant activities: A house in Atlanta, two cars and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen H. McClain and Michael J. Brown, both out of the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta). This Atlanta office has a well-known reputation for going after crooks, regardless of the political implications. This is the same office, for example, that indicted Atlanta's own mayor for corruption and tax charges in 2004 (http://www.justice.gov/tax/usaopress/2004/txdv0408-30-04.html).
The prosecuting attorney for that case, Sally Quillian Yates, is the same attorney contributing to this case. She said of Thorsen: "Grant money for disease research is a precious commodity. When grant funds are stolen, we lose not only the money, but also the opportunity to better understand and cure debilitating diseases. This defendant is alleged to have orchestrated a scheme to steal over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research. We will now seek the defendant’s extradition for him to face federal charges in the United States."
Understand what is being alleged here: That Thorsen stole taxpayer dollars intended for medical research, then pocketed them in his own private bank accounts and used the money to buy luxury items for his personal use. This is a man with a history of strong ties to the CDC, research universities and medical journals. This is a person whose research has been widely quoted by the vaccine apologists who say vaccines are safe. And now, in the midst of all this, how many mainstream newspapers do you see covering Thorsen's indictment and his ties to the CDC? Virtually none.
This is the great untold story of an alleged criminal ring operating inside the CDC, with the purpose of falsifying research that would "disprove" any links between vaccines and toxic side effects.
The upshot of all thisWhat you read above are the facts of the case. What you're about to read is my own opinion analysis as the editor of NaturalNews. While I spoke with the U.S. Attorney's Office on these matters, what you're about to read are my own opinions, not theirs.
For starters, given that the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the American Journal of Epidemiology and many other medical journals have published Dr. Thorsen's work, will they retract his scientific papers now that he has been indicted for fraud and money laundering?
Or do the medical journals only retract papers only from those whose research suggests that vaccines do, in fact, have a link to intestinal disorders and neurological problems in children? Remember, of course, that the conventional medical industry almost couldn't wait to denounce Dr. Andrew Wakefield's research, based on only the flimsiest of allegations which don't even stand up to basic scrutiny. And yet when one of their own "insider" scientists like Dr. Poul Thorsen is indicted for fraud and money laundering, they don't question the integrity of his scientific research in the least. In fact, the CDC is now publicly defending his research! His research is still openly cited on the CDC's own website! (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/articles.html)
So don't hold your breath waiting for the medical journals to denounce Dr. Thorsen's research. His so-called "scientific findings" are such an important cornerstone in the false "scientific" evidence dispelling any link between vaccines and autism that they would probably let his research stand even if he was convicted of rape, murder and incest. No criminal is too criminal for the medical journals, it seems -- especially if his conclusions support the vaccine industry.
Secondly, did you notice that the allegedly falsified invoices submitted by Dr. Thosen to Aarhus University were signed off by a CDC lab section chief? Someone inside the CDC, in other words, was enabling Dr. Thorsen to allegedly engage in this fraud. The question is: Was this person a co-conspirator?
To answer all this, you have to keep one thing in perspective: During the years of 2006 - 2008 when all this alleged fraud was taking place, the vaccine industry was under increasing attack by scientists who questioned their safety. The evidence linking vaccines with autism and gastrointestinal disorders was becoming increasingly evident and increasingly difficult to cover up. Dr. Julie Gerberding was at the help of the CDC, and she was no doubt trying to impress her future employers at Merck, where she is now the president of Merck's global vaccine division, having left the CDC the very next year following Dr. Thorsen's alleged money laundering scheme.
Question: Did the CDC actively enable and support Dr. Thorsen's alleged fraud in order to "pay him off" for falsifying the research that would supposedly disprove any link between vaccines and autism? And was this being masterminded by Dr. Julie Gerberding as part of her effort to prove her loyalty to Merck, where she now runs the global vaccine division?
Consider the ties here: Dr. Poul Thorsen used to have a CDC email address (email@example.com). He was on the CDC payroll and spoke at CDC events. He had a private bank account at the CDC Credit Union!
Dr. Thorsen had enough pull with the CDC to get his pet grant project approved, even to the point of having the money wired overseas to a university in Denmark where -- guess what? -- he just happened to be a faculty member with "oversight" of where the money went. For Dr. Thorsen to have pulled off his alleged fraud, he would have needed help from inside the CDC -- from the "lab section chief" who signed his invoices that were submitted to Aarhus University for "reimbursement." Those funds, of course, were then allegedly used by Dr. Thorsen to purchase a home, cars and a motorcycle, among other things.
Was Thorsen a patsy for a larger scheme?I see two possibilities here: Either the CDC conspired with Dr. Thorsen, or they set him up to take the fall. Every great scam needs a fall guy, you see, and the vaccine industry's fraudulent scientific cover-up of the truth about vaccine dangers is one of the greatest scams ever pulled off in the history of human civilization. The CDC has its fingerprints all over this case, as a former employer of Thorsen, the source of the money (which is really taxpayer money, of course), and even the source of the "lab section chief" employee who allegedly helped make all this happen.
To believe that the CDC may have conspired with Dr. Thorsen is not even a stretch. The CDC, as we've already shown, is deeply in bed with the vaccine industry and the drug companies. That's why the former head of the CDC is now the president of Merck's vaccine division (http://www.naturalnews.com/027789_Dr_Julie_Gerberding_Merck.html). It's also why the CDC urges everyone to "get vaccinated" at the first sign of a seasonal flu or an emerging epidemic. The pro-vaccine bias of the CDC has been blatant for years.
Other CDC scientists also involved in the fraud?Writers Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill from the AgeOfAutism.com website have done additional research on this point, and they've found some solid evidence that should raise questions about the CDC's involvement in Thorsen's alleged fraud. As they published recently in an article entitled Poul Thorsen's Mutating Resume: (http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/03/poul-thorsens-mutating-resume.html)
In addition, several current CDC employees including Drs. Diana Schendel, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp and Catherine Rice were affiliated with Thorsen's now-defunct research group. Age of Autism has obtained Internet-archived pages from the Web site of the North Atlantic Neuro-Epidemiology Alliances (NANEA) that list the members of the “Atlanta autism team” including Schendel, Yeargin-Allsopp and Rice, all of whom have been in leadership positions in the CDC’s autism epidemiology projects. Schendel is described as NANEA’s “coordinator at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA.”
This article goes on to say, by the way, that Thorsen was also working with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to alter the definition of "autism" in the DSM-V (the psychiatric industry's bible of diagnosis and treatment).
The CDC, of course, has downplayed the whole thing. It released a statement that attempted to characterize Poul Thorsen's alleged fraud as a "fiscal" matter, not something involving his science, as if to imply that a man can be a crook when it comes to his money, but an angel when it comes to his science.
"CDC is aware of the allegations by Aarhus University against Poul Thorsen, a Danish doctor who participated in CDC funded research. For the past 10 years, CDC has had a cooperative agreement with the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation (DASTI) and Aarhus University in Denmark to conduct research studies on issues such as cerebral palsy, autism, alcohol use in pregnancy and Down syndrome. Dr. Thorsen was one of many co-authors on these research projects. All of these were subject to extensive peer review and we have no reason to suspect that there are any issues related to the integrity of the science. The allegations that are fiscal in nature against Dr. Thorsen are being looked into by appropriate authorities."
But the other possibility in all this is that someone inside the CDC wanted to protect the CDC's reputation from all the quackery and fraud they saw happening there. Perhaps they were clued in to Dr. Thorsen's alleged money laundering, and they were sick of it. Maybe they saw Dr. Gerberding collect a multi-million-dollar salary from Merck while the rest of the people were left behind at the CDC collecting government wages. This is conjecture, of course, but it seems reasonable to suppose that someone from within the CDC could be the whistleblower on all this.
And if that someone reads this, we want to hear from you. Feel free to leak internal documents to NaturalNews any time you want, through our public feedback form. We protect the identities of all our sources and we are interested in seeing justice served. If there is an element in the CDC that is knowingly engaged in criminal fraud and conspiracy, that elements needs to be exposed and removed from the CDC for the good of the entire institution. Otherwise, more of this kind of news will only come out in the years ahead, and the reputation of the CDC will only continue to plummet.
Don't think the world isn't noticing already: Just two years ago, the CDC's reputation was relatively high even among natural health practitioners. But after watching the CDC's behavior through these last couple of flu scares, more intelligent people now fully realize the CDC has become little more than a mouthpiece for the pharmaceutical industry. It was the CDC, after all, that helped hype up the Swine Flu scare that resulted in billions of taxpayer dollars being needlessly spent on vaccines which were mostly thrown away unused after the scare passed.
The DOJ earns street credThe real hero in all this, it turns out, is the Department of Justice (DOJ). Rather than bowing to the profit interests of the vaccine industry, the DOJ is going after Dr. Poul Thorsen based solely on his alleged criminal behavior, not based on politics or science. It's refreshing to know that some elements of the federal government are actually doing good work. I've seen this before from the DOJ in its indictments of various pharmaceutical companies, and I continue to believe that the DOJ may be the last remaining hope for justice at the federal level.
I did tell my contact at the DOJ, however, that they should watch out for pressure from the vaccine industry. There will be efforts made, no doubt, to limit the exposure of this case to only Dr. Poul Thorsen and not involve any other CDC employees or officials. Honestly, in talking to the DOJ about this case, I think they vastly underestimate the level of commitment the drug companies have to their vaccine profit machine; meaning they also vastly underestimate the tactics that are traditionally used by these companies to limit their damage.
For example, most NaturalNews readers know full well that I've had multiple threats placed on my life, I've been stalked, I've been impersonated, and there have been assassination attempts made on other leaders in the natural health movement who have dared to question vaccines. What the DOJ doesn't know (but I hope they will soon realize) is that the drug companies will stop at nothing to get their way: They will poison your dog, hack your website, threaten your family, leave nasty notes in your mailbox, plant fake bombs under your car and do whatever else it takes to get you to back off.
I know that DOJ prosecutors and attorneys will be reading this, so let me share something with you that you need to know: When you go up against the pharmaceutical industry, you are doing battle with what is essentially organized crime. We're talking a modern-day mob here, and they will not hesitate to engaged in attempted bribery, corruption or threats of violence to get their way. If the DOJ begins to uncover a deeper connection between Thorsen, the CDC and the drug companies, beware of the backlash headed your way from both the industry and even the top folks in D.C. The depth of the fraud and crimes being committed right now in the pursuit of vaccine profits is nothing short of astonishing. We've reported on many here at NaturalNews, and yet we've just barely scratched the surface of the real story.
Even the vaccine pushers in the online world engage in precisely the same kind of criminal behavior; fixing online polls, creating robots to maliciously attack anti-vax websites, engaging in the widespread posting of false information, and so on. This is, of course, a reflection of the exact same psychopathic criminal-minded behavior found inside the vaccine industry itself -- an industry staffed by sick-minded human beings who belong in federal prison, not running research for the CDC.
As the editor of NaturalNews, I have publicly, on numerous occasions, called for the Department of Justice to investigate the CEOs of drug companies for fraud, racketeering and conspiracy. While this indictment of Dr. Poul Thorsen isn't all that, it's at least a step in the right direction that may help uncover the truth about what really goes on behind the scenes with taxpayer "research money."
How much vaccine research is based on outright fraud?It also raises the question: How many other scientific researchers and grant money administrators are on the take, pocketing taxpayer dollars that were intended for research purposes? How many of these people falsify their research data in order to keep getting grant money injections into their private bank accounts? Just how deep does the collusion between the corrupt scientific community and the fraudulent vaccine industry really go?
And, of course, what is the CDC's role in all this? It has been one of the top cheerleaders for the vaccine industry for at least the past decade. Now, we are learning that a CDC section chief knowingly or unknowingly colluded with a physician and researcher who has now been indicted for fraud and money laundering. How high up the CDC does this alleged fraud really go?
I don't know the answer to that. But it's not that complicated to figure out, especially when CDC employees become Big Pharma vaccine employees, and vice-versa. It's all a giant government-corporate-medicine orgy where the scientific trust was abandoned long ago in favor of Big Pharma profits.
We'll do our best here at NaturalNews to find out the rest of this story and bring it to you. That's what we do. That's why we're the 4th largest alternative news website in the world (and growing every day). We bring you the news about the fraud and corruption in the pharmaceutical industry that most mainstream media sources won't dare touch. Subscribe to my free daily email newsletter to receive a daily email that I send out, containing links to the top stories you need to know about. It's free, so sign up now at: http://www.naturalnews.com/readerregistration.html
By the way, I strongly recommend that you become a regular readers of www.AgeOfAutism.com which provides outstanding reporting on these issues. Make that site one of your regular sources of information. You'll be amazed by what they are able to report.
Additional sources for this story include:
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