Florida man convicted of falsifying clinical trial results sentenced to over 2 years in prison
A Florida man who falsified medical records in connection to clinical trials was sentenced to 30 months in prison in federal court Thursday.
Daniel Tejeda, 35, of Clewiston, was also ordered to pay $2.1 million in restitution. Tejeda was a project manager and study manager for the CRO Tellus Clinical Research, and made it appear that subjects were participating in trials when they weren’t. Two other research workers from Florida were sentenced in the same case in August for 46 and 30 months, respectively.
Tejeda was sentenced by federal judge Robert Scola of the Southern District of Florida.
The trials were to evaluate a drug for irritable bowel syndrome, opioid dependency and diabetic nephropathy. In the past, Tellus has worked with giants such as Pfizer, Gilead and Takeda. Work on some of those trials came into question in the past, including trials on opioid dependency — sponsored by Braeburn Pharmaceuticals — and diabetes, run by Gilead. Last March, four more employees, including the owner, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering charges.
“Clinical trials help ensure that new drugs are safe and effective for the public,” acting assistant attorney general Brian Boynton said in a statement. “Falsifying clinical trial data undermines a critical component of the drug approval process. The Department of Justice will continue to work with our partners at the FDA to investigate and prosecute anyone who puts personal profit over public health by falsifying clinical trial data.”
The trials in question were between February 2014 to July 2016. The employees charged knowingly enrolled candidates who did not meet the eligibility criteria, falsified lab results, falsified medical records and said that the patients were taking the drugs when they weren’t.
The sentence is much more forgiving than the maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.