Just weeks after the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) formally re-launched its cancer research-funding efforts, a shock indictment of one of the former organization’s top executives has once again dredged up the scandal that sidelined state-funded cancer research for almost a year.
An indictment was issued today by a grand jury in Travis County that alleges that Jerald “Jerry” Cobbs committed a first-degree felony after submitting a funding proposal from Dallas-based Peloton Therapeutics for approval without proper scrutiny.
This is the first criminal charge in the wake of the yearlong CPRIT criminal investigation. While Mr. Cobbs’ alleged crime involved Peloton’s application, prosecutors in Travis County indicated that no charges were considered against Peloton.
“The evidence indicated that they were unaware their grant had bypassed the required review committees,” Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmnberg explained.
It also appears that the Cobbs indictment will be the only one to come out of the investigation, which is now officially completed.
If convicted, Mr. Cobbs faces a wide range of possible sentences, ranging from 5 to 99 years in prison. Prosecutors said that Cobbs turned himself in Friday morning to authorities and has been released on an $85,000 bond.
Attempts by the media to reach Cobbs or his lawyer had yet to reveal any comment, but are ongoing.