Former FDA commissioner Crawford faces fines and probation in stock case

Former FDA commissioner Lester Crawford faces a $50,000 fine and probation but no jail time for lying about ownership of illegally held stocks, the Associated Press reports. Crawford and federal prosecutors have both agreed to the fine and some form of probation. His ultimate sentence will be determined by Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson, according to documents filed with the US district Court in Washington, DC. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 23. Crawford pleaded guilty in October to charges of having a conflict of interest and false reporting of information about stocks he and his wife owned in food, beverage and medical device companies he regulated while head of the FDA. The US Attorney’s office recommended the $50,000 fine, saying it would exceed the roughly $39,000 Crawford and his wife Cathy, made from exercising options and in dividends from the forbidden stocks they held in the FDA-regulated companies. The government also recommended Crawford be sentenced to probation and community service but skip jail time. Crawford could face up to six months in jail under sentencing guidelines. Crawford abruptly resigned from the FDA in September 2005 but gave no reason for leaving. He held the job of commissioner for only two months following confirmation by the Senate.

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