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The former accounting director for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) was arrested Monday on charges of embezzling more than $223,000 from the trade association. She may have wired some of the proceeds to buy property in Jamaica, according to court documents. Marcia Campbell, a 45-year-old native of Jamaica, faces felony charges of bank fraud and wire fraud. Campbell, who worked as PhRMA’s accounting director for six years, has allegedly diverted two payments of $73,560 and $150,000 meant for PhRMA vendors to her personal account at Washington Mutual Bank in the past 10 months, according to the arrest-warrant affidavit. An internal audit revealed the missing funds after one of the vendors complained last week that it had not been paid. PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson says Campbell no longer works for PhRMA, but he would not say if she was fired as a result of the embezzlement case. Campbell was a “midlevel financial person,” not the chief financial officer, Johnson says. “All I can tell you is that we caught the problem internally,” Johnson says. “Obviously, we’ve had discussions with our members about it, but this is an ongoing criminal investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further.” PhRMA lobbies for dozens of research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Its members include 3M Pharmaceuticals, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly and Co., Pfizer Inc., and Wyeth. Johnson wouldn’t comment on PhRMA’s chances of recovering any of the missing money or if the company is insured for the loss. “We’re taking all appropriate steps to ensure that this matter is resolved,” he says. During a joint investigation by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI, officers searched Campbell’s office, her Land Rover, and her apartment in the 1300 block of Clifton Road Northwest. They seized a day planner, bank statements, an airline ticket stub, and a box of business records stowed in her hallway closet, according to the search warrant. “Ms. Campbell after being confronted [by PhRMA staff] with the illegal transfers has been observed removing items from her work station area, including bags of papers, and exiting the building in the direction of the garage,” a search-warrant affidavit states. According to the arrest-warrant affidavit, Campbell sent an e-mail from her work computer last week to a real estate agent in Kingston, Jamaica, indicating she had wired $74,650 for the purchase of property in Jamaica. Investigators reviewed an international money-transfer document showing the transfers from one of Campbell’s personal accounts to the Bank of Nova Scotia in Jamaica. After her initial appearance Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Campbell was released, but she is subject to electronic monitoring and a curfew under the court’s High Intensity Supervision Program. Assistant U.S. Attorney Angela George says she requested the additional monitoring because Campbell poses a flight risk to Jamaica due to her ties there, and because questions about Campbell’s U.S. citizenship have not been resolved. U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson rejected George’s request for a 10-day immigration hold on Campbell. Employment records at PhRMA show Campbell is a U.S. citizen, but she also holds a Jamaican passport, Johnson says. Campbell, who couldn’t be reached for comment, faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million if found guilty on each of the felony counts. Her defense attorney, R.J. Vanzego Jr., wouldn’t comment on her case.
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

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