General Crime

Doctor Tri Minh Do Arrested for Allegedly Embezzling Money Intended for Cancer Research

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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.

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  • I am one of Dr. Do’s former, and very grateful patients. He was the epitome of professionalism in dealing with my illness and situation. He was responsible for saving my life.

    The comments of “whatwashethinking” are premature. We do not know all the facts about this and should wait before such accusing declarations are made. I am aware of Dr. Do’s many previous good works and I think Vinny’s comment about where the money goes is valid.

  • I can’t believe these two prior comments. Dr Do’s actions are indefensible. How can one justify using GRANT money as compensation for services rendered? If that was the case, why did the American College of Radiology not just cut him a check for his “diligent” work? I’ll tell you why, because research grants are for RESEARCH purposes and not to line some greedy doctor’s pockets!

  • A lot of research is performed relying on doctors to enroll their patients onto protocols. In return, these research groups pay the doctor a certain fee for enrolling these patients and treating these patients on the research… so its money paid TO THE DOCTOR for working to treat these patients on the protocol… Its not money meant for patients or the research but for services rendered by the doctor… If you work, you should be paid for it. So I can see how things can be muddied here… Let’s hear the full story before making any judgments…

  • Dr. Do seems to have contributed quite a bit to cancer research – why don’t they mention that in their article?
    I have worked in clinical trials for quite a bit and know that physicians get paid a certain amount from grants that run these studies – perhaps he misunderstood that money as a salary. Until we all see the contract of the grant, we can’t rush to judge him – look at his publication and teaching records. He’s done science some service.

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