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Ex-Biopure exec pleads guilty to faking cancer

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Ex-Biopure exec pleads guilty to faking cancer
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

BOSTON (AP) -- A former Biopure Corp. executive has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for pretending he had terminal cancer to dodge a lawsuit by federal securities regulators.

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Howard Richman admitted in federal court Wednesday he had instructed his lawyers to tell a judge that he was gravely ill with colon cancer.

Richman, of Pearland, Texas, said he went so far as to impersonate his own doctor in a phone call with his lawyer so that she would report his condition to the judge.

The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Cambridge-based Biopure, Richman and three other executives in 2005. Officials alleged the drug developer had misled investors over the prospects of winning approval for a synthetic blood product.

Richman faces up to 10 years in prison.

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