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Former Hopkins physician sentenced to prison for lying about travel expenses

A former doctor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for lying about his travel expenses and obtaining “hundreds of thousands of dollars” that he should not have received, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Jean-Francois Geschwind, 53, of Westport, Conn., was sentenced last week to the prison term, followed by three years of supervised release, by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz. Geschwind was also ordered to pay $583,484.31 in restitution, which he has paid in full, according to a news release from the office.

Geschwind was a physician in Hopkins’ division of vascular and interventional radiology between 1998 and 2015. Hopkins Medicine declined to comment on the sentence.

Geschwind was convicted on four counts of mail fraud “arising from a multi-year scheme to unlawfully obtain travel expense reimbursements from his former employer,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

According to a plea agreement cited by the office, Geschwind sought reimbursement for personal expenses, including family vacations and meals, as well as for expenses that had been, or he knew would be, paid by parties other than Hopkins.

In one instance, Geschwind got Hopkins to pick up expenses related to a 13-day family vacation to the United Kingdom and France in 2013 by falsely claiming he was making those trips to deliver lectures related to his work at Hopkins, according to the plea agreement cited by the U.S. attorney’s office.

In addition, Geschwind managed to be reimbursed three times for round-trip airfare to a conference in Japan in July 2015 — once by Hopkins, once by a life-sciences company based in France, and once by the Yale School of Medicine, where he had begun working prior to the conference.

Law enforcement was brought in to the case after investigators with Hopkins’ internal auditing office uncovered the inappropriate payments, according to the U.S. attorney’s office..

Geschwind is scheduled to turn himself in Dec. 4.

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