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Danish scientist's million-dollar fraud rap

The US authorities have accused an Aarhus University scientist of embezzling over a million dollars in research funds

51-year-old Poul Thorsen, currently in Denmark awaiting extradition to the US, allegedly used American research funding to buy a house in Atlanta, a Harley Davidson motorbike, and two cars. He is no.1 on the ‘Most Wanted OIG (Office of the Inspector General) Fugitives’ in the USA, reports seven59 and

From approximately February 2004 until February 2010, Poul Thorsen executed a scheme to steal grant money awarded by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC had awarded grant money to Denmark for research involving infant disabilities, autism, genetic disorders, and fetal alcohol syndrome. CDC awarded the grant to fund studies of the relationship between autism and the exposure to vaccines, the relationship between cerebral palsy and infection during pregnancy, and the relationship between developmental outcomes and fetal alcohol exposure.

Thorsen worked as a visiting scientist at CDC, Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, before the grant was awarded.The initial grant was awarded to the Danish Medical Research Council. In approximately 2007, a second grant was awarded to the Danish Agency for Science, Technology, and Innovation. Both agencies are governmental agencies in Denmark. The research was done by the Aarhaus University and Odense University Hospital in Denmark.

Alleged transfers to personal account

Thorsen allegedly diverted over 1 million dollars of the CDC grant money to his own personal bank account. Thorsen submitted fraudulent invoices on CDC letterhead to medical facilities assisting in the research for reimbursement of work allegedly covered by the grants. The invoices were addressed to Aarhaus University and Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

The fact that the invoices were on CDC letterhead made it appear that CDC was requesting the money from Aarhaus University and Sahlgrenska University Hospital although the bank account listed on the invoices belonged to Thorsen.

In April 2011, Thorsen was indicted on 22 counts of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering (according to source OIG / Office of Inspector General website)

Read the original article here on (Danish).

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