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CARDIOLOGIST ORDERED TO REPAY $6.6 MILLION TO HEART FOUNDATION

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A renowned cardiologist has been ordered to repay millions of dollars he allegedly misappropriated from a medical practice that conducted research into child heart disease.

Dr. Bernardo Nadal-Ginard, 52, former chairman of the Children's Hospital cardiology department and a former Harvard Medical School professor, was ordered by a federal judge on Wednesday to repay nearly $6.6 million to the Boston Children's Heart Foundation - a nonprofit group practice he founded in 1982.In October, U.S. District Judge Robert Keeton ruled in a bench trial that Nadal-Ginard had abused his position and had acted in bad faith.

A civil lawsuit alleged that Nadal-Ginard, who also was president of the foundation, improperly took millions of dollars in benefits - including more than $4 million in severance pay he received without actually leaving the job.

Keeton ordered the doctor to repay to the hospital foundation nearly $6.6 million - the money Nadal-Ginard allegedly improperly diverted, plus interest.

Nadal-Ginard also faces criminal charges of embezzling more than $400,000 from the practice and from a start-up biotechnology company called Myogenics. He is awaiting trial on those charges.

"Judge Keeton's ruling will enable us to recover the money and use it for research to benefit children with heart disease," said Alexander Pratt, lawyer for the practice.