Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shrink who said 'Oddfather' Vincent (Chin) Gigante was nuts outed as a fake

The prominent New York psychologist who bought mobster Vincent (Chin) Gigante's crazy act has been deemed a fake himself.
A federal jury said that Wilfred Van Gorp fudged applications for up to $300,000 in federal grants for HIV/AIDS research at Cornell University Medical College.
The verdict means that Van Gorp and Cornell will have to shell out upwards of $1 million to repay the grants plus damages and legal fees.
"This is a big deal," said Dr. Daniel Feldman, a one-time student of Van Gorp's who brought the lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court. "This is how taxpayers' money gets spent and how little oversight gets done."
Feldman, whose partner has HIV and who lost a previous partner to AIDS, signed on to Van Gorp's program to fight the disease.
He brought the lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act after spending more time on Van Gorp's sideline as an expert for hire in legal cases than on AIDS research.
Van Gorp became well known after declaring Gigante - the Genovese boss dubbed the "Oddfather" for wandering Greenwich Village in his bathrobe - to truly be crazy.
But Gigante's crazy act was uncovered in 2003 when the feds compiled evidence of Gigante talking lucidly on the phone, and he admitted his fakery in federal court.
"It was all so compelling and it was all such a fraud," Van Gorp said after the fakerery was revealed.
"I'm happy but I feel like crying because I hate that this is happening," said Feldman. "I hate that we spend money for these things and it's not being used as we thought it was."
Cornell and Van Gorp argued that the 1998 NIH grant was made before new drugs were proven so effective that the program couldn't find as many HIV patients as anticipated.
But District Judge William Pauley, who will decide how much the university and Van Gorp will pay, ruled that the government had warned the doctor about that.
Jurors said Van Gorp should have changed NIH updates to show he wasn't working with as many HIV/AIDS patients, noted Feldman's lawyer, Michael Salmanson.
"Dr. Van Gorp has spent his life researching AIDS," said his lawyer, Nina Beattie, after Thursday's verdict. "He was in the forefront since the early 1980s, before people knew what AIDS was.
"Dr. Van Gorp never had any intent or reason to mislead the government regarding the fellowship or the work of the fellows. He was disappointed in the verdict and plans to move to have it set aside."


Post a Comment