- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2006

Federal authorities have seized personal bank records of the accounting director at a District-based pharmaceutical research group in a probe of whether she funneled money to buy property in Jamaica.

The FBI and the financial crimes unit of the Metropolitan Police Department have been investigating accountant Marcia Campbell for more than a week after learning of an internal audit that showed that more than $200,000 was missing from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), court records show.

Miss Campbell declined to comment when reached by phone at her home.

Her attorney said that she has not been formally indicted and that he could not comment on the matter.

Miss Campbell was arrested Monday by a deputy U.S. marshal and was later released.

Ken Johnson, senior vice president at PhRMA, said Miss Campbell “no longer works here.” He declined to discuss whether she had been terminated or had resigned.

“There is an ongoing criminal investigation, and it would be inappropriate to comment,” Mr. Johnson said.

He said the investigation began after PhRMA contacted law-enforcement authorities.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed in federal court in the District this week, PhRMA began an internal investigation this month after a vendor, National Media Inc., inquired about a $73,560 payment it had not received.

Police said in court documents that PhRMA auditors traced the money to a Washington Mutual Bank account belonging to Miss Campbell.

Auditors found that it wasn’t the first time that PhRMA funds had been diverted to the account, according to the affidavit.

Authorities think Miss Campbell in December transferred $150,000 to her accounts from funds that were supposed to go to another vendor, LETNOM Productions Inc., court records show.

Since December, Miss Campbell’s accounts have received at least $223,560 in unauthorized transfers from PhRMA, police say.

Investigators also have examined Miss Campbell’s e-mail records. They say she sent a note from her work computer to a real estate agent in Jamaica this month indicating that she recently had wired money for the closing costs in a real estate deal.

PhRMA officials discussed “ongoing matters” related to the investigation with Miss Campbell last week, according to the affidavit.

On Monday, authorities searched Miss Campbell’s home and car in Northwest and seized a day planner, an airline ticket and bank statements, according to court records.

PhRMA, the lobbying group for the nation’s largest drug makers, hired Miss Campbell about six years ago, according to court filings.

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