A San Jose doctor is accused of embezzling $46,000 meant for cancer research and using it to pay his phone and credit card bills and his parents’ mortgage, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Dr. Tri Minh Do, 45, allegedly set up a bank account in which he deposited grant checks made out to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and then used the money for himself, Deputy District Attorney Judy Lee said. Do, who is charged with one count of felony misappropriation of public funds, will be arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose on Sept. 13, Lee said.
He surrendered to authorities late last week and was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on $25,000 bail, but was later released, Lee said. Do, formerly employed as a radiologist at the medical center, allegedly cashed $46,000 in reimbursement checks intended to cover the medical center’s costs related to certain cancer research, Lee said. The checks were from the American College of Radiology, which had awarded the medical center a grant to pay for up to $66,750 in expenses for a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group study, including research on prostate cancer, Lee said.
The college addressed the checks to the medical center and put them to Do’s attention, Lee said. “He opened up a separate account with a ‘doing business as’ Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center, and so he was able to cash all the checks in that separate account,” Lee said. The alleged embezzlement was uncovered late last year, after Do stopped working at the medical center and reimbursement checks kept coming to the hospital from the American College of Radiology, Lee said.
The medical center contacted the college, which confirmed it had been sending checks there for a year, Lee said. The district attorney’s office learned that Do, who had been in charge of running the cancer study, allegedly used grant funds to pay his Verizon phone bill, Visa and Chase credit cards and make partial payments on his parents’ home mortgage, Lee said. Do’s parents had no idea where about the scheme and are not facing criminal charges, Lee said.