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Resigned FDA Chief to Plead Guilty on Disclosures

Former FDA chief Lester Crawford will plead guilty to two misdemeanors for failing to disclose a financial interest in companies his agency regulated, according to his lawyer.

The Justice Department accused the former head of the Food and Drug Administration with falsely reporting that he had sold stock in companies governed by FDA rules when, in fact, he continued to hold shares in the firms.

Crawford was commissioner or acting commissioner of the FDA from March 2004 to September 2005, when he stepped down. He wasn't supposed to own stock in companies regulated by the agency. And he had to file annual conflict-of-interest statements.


PepsiCo, snack-food maker Sysco and veterinary biotech company Embrex are among the companies whose stock Crawford held even after he told ethics enforcers that he had sold his shares.

In an appearance before a U.S. magistrate scheduled for Tuesday, Crawford reportedly will plead guilty to two misdemeanors that each could bring him up to a year in prison.

Robert Siegel talks with NPR's Joanne Silberner.

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