The Downfall of the “Next Big Thing”

Late last year we read with great dismay the final act in an elaborate fraud involving one of the biotech’s global upcoming stars.

This The Australian newspaper article summed up the case well:

A former biotech executive has been sentenced to six years in prison for orchestrating an elaborate scam to steal more than $6 million of company money.

It is this case – or more precisely the Judge’s sentencing comments – that are our Report of the Week.

The Sentencing Comments are a play by play as to what transpires when people (there were three persons charged) develop an unfettered sense of entitlement.

The Justice noted:

It is hard to understand how three such highly talented and highly academically qualified people find themselves pleading guilty to charges of such gravity.

Whilst there were circumstances involving the funding of treatment for a sick child, the Justice continued:

Again, it is striking that in this case … that none of the parties seemed in any way concerned that they were agreeing to embark on or discussing embarking upon or continuing with blatant and large-scale defrauding of (the) employer.  Up to this stage, no case of need, pressing personal circumstances or psychiatric or psychological condition which might go some way to explain the behaviour of any of you existed.

We like the comment:

It is clear that this is long-term, persistent, barefaced, commercial, fraudulent activity.

As to why this happened:

It is also clear that up to May 2008, when Dr Ogru’s child was born, there can be no explanation for the offending other than greed. Dr Ogru and Dr Gianello put their ill-gotten gains into lifestyle spending: paying off their mortgages, building up their assets and enabling themselves and their families to live more comfortable lives than they could have on their legitimate earnings.

This is a story of failed promise, comprised morals and a life that could have been lived so differently.

It is also a story worth reading to alert that even the most senior can cross the line to the dark side.

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