John Podesta, one of President Obama‘s closest White House advisers, counts among his key financial supporters Hansjorg Wyss, a reclusive Swiss billionaire whose company conducted illegal human experiments that resulted in the deaths of three elderly patients.
Justice Department attorneys negotiated a $23.8 million plea deal in 2011 with Synthes Inc., and Norian Corporation, its wholly owned subsidiary, and sent four of its U.S. executives to prison. The money was paid to the federal government.
Two of the victims died in a California hospital and the third perished in a Texas medical facility. One of the California victims was Ryoichi Kikuchi, 83, who died on the operating table at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek on Sept. 19, 2009.
He was a prize-winning physicist who analyzed the thermodynamic behavior of liquids and gases and worked at scientific centers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, the Max Planck Institute in Germany and the National Bureau of Standards.
The federal judge who heard the case said the company’s “pattern of deception is unparalleled.”