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Stem cell foundation chief indicted for attempted fraud

Stamina Foundation implicated in 500,000-euro funding request

07 February, 12:25
Stem cell foundation chief indicted for attempted fraud (ANSA) - Turin, February 7 - The president of an Italian nonprofit, stem cell research foundation on Friday was indicted for attempted fraud against the Piedmont Region. A Turin judge is sending to trial the president of the Stamina Foundation, Davide Vannoni.

Vannoni's defence lawyer had petitioned to clear the charges or to shelve them for exceeding the statute of limitations. The case revolves around a request made by the Stamina Foundation for 500,000 euros worth of funding to develop a stem cell laboratory, which the regional government first granted and then withdrew.

The foundation's website calls Vannoni a "professor" and says it was founded in 2009 to bring together stem cell researchers from around the world specialized in working with adult bone marrow stem cells.

"There was no attempted fraud because there was no exposure to situations not corresponding to the truth in the financing request made to the Piedmont Region," said defence lawyer Roberto Piacentino.

"The crime, in my opinion, expired," Piacentino declared before the preliminary trial hearing. Piacentino announced that he would neither ask for plea bargain nor a sentence-reducing fast-track trial.