SC Lawmaker Focus Of Stem Cell Probe

S.C. Rep. Stephen Goldfinch (RINO-Murrells Inlet) is the focus of an ongoing federal investigation into illegal organ sales and stem cell harvesting, sources tell FITS. Additional charges – including perjury, obstruction of justice, falsification of medical records and misuse of state and federal funds – could also be forthcoming. The investigation…

S.C. Rep. Stephen Goldfinch (RINO-Murrells Inlet) is the focus of an ongoing federal investigation into illegal organ sales and stem cell harvesting, sources tell FITS.

Additional charges – including perjury, obstruction of justice, falsification of medical records and misuse of state and federal funds – could also be forthcoming.

The investigation of Goldfinch – confirmed to FITS by a senior federal law enforcement agent familiar with the case – involves a company called CureSource and another firm called Caledonia Consulting Company, LLC. Goldfinch was an officer with CureSource and the founder of Caledonia Consulting Company LLC – which was dissolved in April 2006.

Caledonia is referenced on the webpage of Dr. Vincent Dammai – a Texas-based molecular biologist and former MUSC professor who pleaded guilty this summer to a misdemeanor charge of “mislabeling” stem cells.

“Dammai admitted that beginning in 2006 while employed with (MUSC), he used university facilities to harvest and process stem cells for a company called Caledonia Consulting located in South Carolina,” an FBI news release states. “He further admitted he harvested stem cells for Caledonia from March 2006 through December 2008 and was paid approximately $161,625.”

Wait … how could Caledonia continue to harvest stem cells after it was dissolved? Well, another company – Caledonia Consulting, Inc. – was formed by Goldfinch in October 2008.

Other incorporations may also exist.

“Due to the active status of this investigation, Dr. Dammai will refrain from making clarifications on this issue,” his website states in reference to Goldfinch’s company.

According to sources familiar with the federal probe, Dammai told investigators he was framed by Goldfinch – who along with his co-conspirators allegedly concocted an elaborate plot to profit from the illegal organ trade while pinning the blame for everything on the unsuspecting Indian-American.

“They convinced Dammai to help them develop super-advanced stem cell technology which was not to be sold to anyone and used for research purposes only,” one source tell us. “This doctor worked day and night to develop the technology, not knowing the dark side of Caledonia business. Eventually, Caledonia sold the stem cells and technologies developed by this doctor and made millions.”

Also mixed up in this scam? Francisco Morales of Brownsville, Texas – who was exposed in a recent 60 Minutes feature for his stem cell quackery – and David Steenblock, a dubious “doctor” whose lengthy record of medical misdeeds can be perused here.

Another alleged participant? Caledonia partner Yair Adereth – an Israeli national who is accused of forging medical documents in connection with the scam. These forgeries were allegedly used to secure MUSC’s participation in the testing of these illegally obtained organs.

“MUSC is required to check that the organs submitted to them for testing are obtained through legal process and also ensure that a licensed physician signs off on the required paperwork from Caledonia side for every organ submitted,” one of our sources explains. “They are supposed to check the credentials of all doctors and how the organs were obtained. Well, MUSC didn’t fulfill their legal responsibility.”

Not only that, the University has been accused of covering up the scandal after the fact.

According to our sources, the stem cells were obtained through two Conway, S.C. birthing clinics. More information on these facilities – and the structure of the stem cell operation – is said to be forthcoming.

So stay tuned …

UPDATES: Here and here.

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John Boy October 7, 2013 at 2:16 pm

No need to pinch me, I know I’m in South Carolina.

Frank Pytel October 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Anything leading back to Haley or Ms. Lindsey? Please, Please?? :)

TontoBubbaGoldstein October 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Anything leading back to…Ms. Lindsey?

Sorry,Frank, but “stem cell probe” and “anal probe” are not the same thing.

You know me October 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Now that’s funny!

tomstickler October 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Any connection to Goldfinch Funeral Home in Pawleys Island, within Goldfinch’s 108th House district?

tomstickler October 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Hope this investigation moves quicker that the AdTax payoff in Myrtle Beach, right Boz?

You know me October 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Oh, and don’t forget the cemetary.

lindsey g October 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Oh, that’s right. The Goldfinch family owns the funeral home and the cemetary. Wonder if they own the coroner?

IMMAHANGUPPENLISSEN October 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm

So I’m going to assume Mr. Goldfinch is in the pro-stem cell research arm of the Republican Party, bumping that caucus up to a member of one. Michael J. Fox is giddy with excitement.

Peter O. November 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm

If you mean he supports “embryonic” stem cell research, that’s unlikely. The FBI indictments state they were dealing with umbilical cord blood.

Tea MD October 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Why should there even be any such thing as an illegal organs trade. This is supposed to be a free market economy. All you socialist, want the government to control everything. I should be able to buy and sell organs and stem cells at such rate as the market will bear.
Our system only works if those who are successful benefit from their success by being able to pay for priority. The rest of us make our money by providing the things those with money want and are willing to pay for. That’s what free market medicine is all about. If you want a lung and you’ve got a million bucks you should be able to buy a lung.

Low Self Esteem October 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

“Our system only works if those who are successful benefit from their success by being able to pay for priority. The rest of us”

…the natural assumption being you don’t view yourself as successful.

Tea MD October 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Not at all, just not as successful as I want to be. I’m successful, but I want to be very, very, successful. That means I need to be able to deal with the people who I want to deal with, and not dregs who can’t pay the freight. Providing goods and services to the highest bidder is how our system creates success.
That’s what the do gooder crowd does not understand. Forcing people to provide goods and services to those who cannot pay the fair value, makes those of us with the goods and services to sell less successful.

Gregory Geddings October 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm

“I’m successful, but I want to be very, very, successful”

Yes, and, if wishes were rainbows, my ass would spit out gold coins.

Gillon October 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm

The human organs trade is illegal for the same reason that authorities are forced to remove the tusks from elephants or the horns from rhinos. Think about it.

Tea MD October 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

And what reason is that? The best protection for elephants and rhinos is the free market trade in horns. The free market will push money into the breading of elephants and rhinos for the production of horns, assuring survival of the species; and if it doesn’t, they will become one of the billions of species that did not make it. That’s the nature of nature.
If you are worried, buy land in Africa and create a preserve. Its your money and if you are rich enough to protect elephants, you should be able to do so. That is your reward for your success.

9" October 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Could you give me the recipe for breading and frying elephants,or is that considered an out patient procedure?

? October 7, 2013 at 3:58 pm

You’ll need a license for that.

If anyone can figure out methods for breading and deep frying elephants though, it’s someone in SC.

9" October 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I hope he shares the ad where he bought his degree…

? October 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm

CSOL’s new HVAC division, you can study for eight years and get piece of paper that says “MD” on it if you have enough money or get gov’t guaranteed loans.

The fine print says on the HVAC MD diploma says that “MD” stands for “more dollars than brains”, but most employers won’t read it that closely.

? October 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

edit: “fine print on the HVAC”

Gregory Geddings October 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Ha! Good one.

Tea MD October 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Good catch, obviously breeding; but hey, if it makes money think how many more elephant and rhino farms there would be.

Mr. Friendly October 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I call dibbs on his wife after the shit hits the fan. When she’s broke and finally dumps him I’m hiring her as my “naughty maid”.

You know me October 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm

You mention Caledonia Consulting and CureSource. You did not mention Rainbow Communications, EntryPoint Capital, Insite TPA, Stephen Goldfinch Attorney at Law, Midcipher, Dammai-Morgan Scientific Consultants, or Waterfront Events. My, my, my.

GKahn October 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm

MUSC also needs to come clean on all of this. This is yet another example of why I care not to hear about trying to get people into research trials when they cannot follow their own protocol and procedure. This needs an investigation to get to the bottom of MUSC management of research.

9" October 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm

New Poll:SC is #1 in the nation for dumbest bloggers,ever.

Gregory Geddings October 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

Maybe we can organize a telethon and get the parents of newborn boys to donate circumcised tissue. If we get enough we can construct an extra large turtle neck sweater for Tea MD…one that will stretch to cover his head. He can periodically retract it and post here.

Seriously, Will may have just invented a new incarnation of Big T.

Tea MD October 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm

No thanks, no value to that material. Now if you had said umbilical cords, that would be a different matter.

Gregory Geddings October 7, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Good sport…

shifty henry October 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Speaking of which, here is a repeat……

Two guys were standing at adjacent urinals when one says to the other, “I’ll bet you were born in Charleston, SC.”

“Why, that’s right,” said the other guy in surprise.

“And I’ll bet that you were circumcised when you were three days old.”

“Right again, but how’d you —-“

“And I’ll bet it was done by old Doc Sternberg.”

“Well, yes, but how did you know?” asked the second guy in amazement.

“Well, Old Doc always cut them at a sixty-degree angle,” explained the first guy, “and you’re pissing on my shoe.”

9" October 7, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Were you mutilized ? It’s never too late to sue…

Nah,I got it figured out.Tattoo removal is the future!$$$$$

Sam October 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Dr. Dammai is set for sentencing in November, according to a Houston newspaper. Wonder how well he knows Nikki’s good friend, Raj Mantena?

jimlewisowb October 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Indicators that you may be living in a Third World County

1) Chief Executive Officer(Governor) whores out her office for a buck or two or hell, I’ll do it for a buck and a quarter
2) Your major tourist destination serves as backdrop for a TV show that has been rated #1 by STD carriers worldwide
3) Public Schools are so bad that children of school administrators take a bus to neighboring States’ schools
4) Streets in Detroit are safer
5) Sitting Legislator, friends, associates alleged to be black marketers for stem cells and organs
6) Can’t get a seat on a Board or Commission unless you are a retarded relative of a Cockroach Legislator
7) The bar on the Bar Exam is lowered when necessary to allow chosen ones to crawl under(as if offspring of cockroaches don’t already know how to crawl)
8) Checking into the State’s premier Medical University may result you checking out with fewer parts than you checked in with
9) While visiting Guatemala the taxi driver observes many of his relatives have lost a kidney or two in your State

Ruby D October 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I’m sure this will bring out the usual hysterical group that will use this to warn us of the dangers of “unproven” stem cell therapies. There are disreputable people in every profession and industry. Glad this guy got busted but let’s keep it in perspective.

SpecFeat October 7, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Did these cells come from patients at MUSC?

nitrat October 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm

“According to our sources, the stem cells were obtained through two Conway, S.C. birthing clinics. ”

Kent Stavey October 7, 2013 at 6:27 pm

MUSC just hired a new guy for “technology transfer”! Are they in this for the money? It looks like the position was started in 1995 “to commercialize MUSC research. Was this a MUSC commercialization plan gone bad?

From the Post and Courier:
The Medical University of South Carolina’s Foundation for Research Development has announced a new leader.

Michael Rusnak took over as executive director effective Oct. 1.

The foundation was created in 1995 to commercialize MUSC research, a process sometimes called “technology transfer.”

Rusnak has more than 25 years of experience in the life science industry, the university said in a statement today.

Most recently, he was director of new ventures and technology development
within the technology transfer office at the University of Rochester
Medical Center in New York.

Before that, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence with BCM Technologies Inc., which is part of
the Baylor College of Medicine, where he was involved in starting and
incubating more than five spin-off companies from the school.

He also has held senior positions in biotechnology business development
with Ceros Pharmaceuticals, CombiChem and Lexicon Genetics, among

Wilson October 8, 2013 at 9:29 am

Forwarding this on over to ODC.


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