Happened to come across articles (linked below) on this topic the other night while websurfing. The first is about
a college professor who has recently been accused of stealing cancer research funds, while the second recounts similar, but more massive, such fraud by organizations from a few years ago.
Whenever a large sum of money is bestowed upon an individual or an organization, to be used for some worthwhile research, for some the temptation of having access to all that money is too much, and they wind up embezzling it.
Such persons are usually caught, eventually convicted, and are likely imprisoned for their crimes, along with being labeled as criminals for what they have done.
And potentially valuable research that could have happened doesn't take place because funding was diverted and stolen.
Fortunately, it isn't all that common (one assumes), but occasionally it does happen, even with cancer research funds, as the recent cases described below attest.
The first case is ongoing as of now, and involves a Stony Brook University professor who was charged a few weeks ago with stealing $200,000 allocated for cancer research purposes, and spending it on himself:https://nypost.com/2019/09/12/stony-brook-professor-stole-200k-from-cancer-research-feds/
Granted there has been no conviction of this person so far, but he has been charged, and the money is apparently missing.
Unfortunately his case is not alone. A simple Google search such as (no quotes):
cancer research funds embezzlement
pulls up a disturbing number of similar alleged instances of this kind of misconduct, evidently done at various times and in various places.
For example, the second link below is to a report from just a few years ago of massive fraud in the case of several cancer "charities," to the tune of $187 million misspent:https://www.philanthropy.com/article/4-cancer-charities-charged-in/230263
That much! Oh my! All that money, if it had been spent properly, could possibly have made a real difference in some research projects.
Also, scandals such as these might have a negative impact on the willingness of some groups to contribute to
cancer research in the future, out of fear that a similar misuse may occur.
It makes one angry that this sort of thing happens, to be sure, but sad as well, to realize that there is such weakness in some people, even people like some doctors and scientists who one would think would know better, when easy access to so much money is involved, and those people can't resist taking it.