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United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

ARMY DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO ACCEPTING ILLEGAL SALARY
Doctor Took Payments from Medical Device Company that Settled Civil Lawsuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2011

JASON LAYNE DAVIS, 38, a Major and cardiologist in the U.S. Army pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to accepting funds from an illegal source while performing his duties as a physician in the Army. At the time, DAVIS was Chief of the Cardiology Department at Madigan Army Medical Center. Between April and October 2007, in addition to his salary from the Army, DAVIS accepted nearly $5,000 from Guidant Sales Corporation, a subsidiary of Boston Scientific, a medical device manufacturer. In October 2010, Guidant Sales Corporation paid $600,000 to the United States to settle claims that it illegally provided similar payments, meals and gratuities to DAVIS so that he would use the company’s medical devices in cardiac procedures he performed and use his influence with other physicians practicing at Madigan Army Hospital so they would use the company’s devices as well. DAVIS is scheduled to be sentenced by Magistrate Judge Richard Creatura on April 5, 2011.

“Military doctors must owe their allegiance to the soldiers and families they treat – not to drug companies or makers of medical devices,” said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. “That is why we have a bright line rule: doctors employed by the government cannot accept payments or gratuities from an outside source – especially one that is seeking government business.”

According to the plea agreement, DAVIS began his work at Madigan in 2004. He became Chief of Cardiology in late 2008. In the civil settlement with the Government, Guidant Sales Corporation settled claims that between January 2006 and February 2009, the company provided DAVIS with meals, payments and other gratuities to encourage DAVIS to use devices manufactured by Boston Scientific for cardiac surgeries at Madigan. During this period of time, DAVIS almost exclusively used Boston Scientific’s pacemakers and implantable defibrillators.

In the criminal plea agreement, DAVIS admits accepting $4,812 in payments for “training” from Guidant Sales Corporation/Boston Scientific sales representatives who observed seven of DAVIS’ surgeries. In fact, however, as DAVIS admits, other Guidant/Boston Scientific employees conducted the training while DAVIS performed the surgery. DAVIS never sought approval to use the surgeries for training purposes and never received permission to engage in this employment or accept these payments from the company.

Accepting such a payment from an illegal source, as charged in this case, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Department of Defense Inspector General and Army Criminal Investigation Division, Major Procurement Fraud Unit. The criminal case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Reese Jennings. The civil case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Winn.

 

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