A convicted felon writes a paper on hotly debated diets. What could go wrong?

Richard Fleming

Pro-tip for journals and publishers: When you decide to publish a paper about a subject — say, diets — that you know will draw a great deal of scrutiny from vocal proponents of alternatives, make sure it’s as close to airtight as possible.

And in the event that the paper turns out not to be so airtight, write a retraction notice that’s not vague and useless.

Oh, and make sure the lead author of said study isn’t a convicted felon who pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud.

If only we were describing a hypothetical.

On September 27 of this year, Richard M. Fleming — that’s “PhD, MD, JD AND NOW Actor-Singer!!!” according to his Twitter profile — and colleagues published a paper in Clinical Cardiology. The paper, a comparison of “the three major diets,” concluded:

One-year  lowered-carbohydrate  diet significantly increases  cardiovascular risks, while a low-to-moderate-fat  diet significantly reduces cardiovascular risk factors.  Vegan diets were intermediate. Lowered-carbohydrate dieters  were least inclined to continue dieting after conclusion of  the study. Reductions in coronary blood flow reversed with appropriate  dietary intervention. The major dietary effect on atherosclerotic coronary artery disease is inflammation and not weight loss.

The next day, the very same Richard M. Fleming was debarred by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

for 10 years from providing services in any capacity to a person that has an approved or pending drug product application. FDA bases this order on a finding that Fleming was convicted of two felonies under Federal law that involved fraud. Additionally, Fleming has demonstrated a pattern of conduct sufficient to find that there is reason to believe that he may violate requirements under the FD&C Act relating to drug products.

Indeed, as the Lincoln Journal-Star reported in 2010:

Fleming admitted that in 2002 he billed Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska for falsely represented medical tests.

In 2004, Fleming admitted, he submitted false data after being paid to perform a clinical study on the health benefits of a soy chip food product.

Within days, you might say that the knives came out. On September 30, George Henderson posted a blog item alleging numerous problems with the study. One of the things that Henderson points out is that this study — at least according to the trial’s registration — was apparently completed in 2002.

On October 18, Ben Hogan, senior publisher at Wiley, the publisher of Clinical Cardiology, wrote to Fleming:

We have been alerted by several readers to concerns about the article, particularly the dataset and the funder. Further, given the recent FDA ruling, in order to proceed with publication of the manuscript, we will need to see the original ethics board review, statements of consent from participants, and original data for further review. We take these matters extremely seriously and want to ensure that everything is cleared before publication. The article is currently on hold.

A lot to unpack there. First, the funder, as noted in the paper, was the Camelot Foundation, a nonprofit that Fleming appears to have founded. Second, while the FDA ruling was recent, Fleming’s conviction wasn’t: It was in 2009. Third, we’ve seen a number of cases in which failure to obtain proper IRB approval — which is of course a serious matter — is used as a rationale for retracting a paper with much more serious flaws, but obviating the need for a larger investigation, sort of like getting Al Capone on tax evasion.

Finally, the paper was already published, with a DOI and all the other trimmings, so saying that it was somehow in a “before publication” state isn’t accurate — even if some publishers would like “do-overs” for papers that are published online but aren’t yet assigned to an issue.

Hogan gave Fleming 48 hours “to confirm that the data is available.” Fleming responded in that timeframe, sending Wiley what they requested. But on October 23, Hogan wrote back to him, saying that the article would be retracted in a few days:

The reasoning is as described previously.

Sometime between then and today — we think it was in late October, although the retraction notice doesn’t say — the paper was retracted:

The above article, published online on 27 September 2018 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been withdrawn by agreement between the journal Editor in Chief, A. John Camm and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The article has been withdrawn due to concerns with data integrity and an undisclosed conflict of interest by the lead author.

The lack of date isn’t the only thing that’s unclear in the notice. What “concerns with data integrity” led to the retraction? Were they the ones Henderson raised? And what was the undisclosed conflict of interest by the lead author, aka Fleming?

Hogan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

‘I don’t agree’

We asked Fleming — one of whose co-authors, Gordon Harrington, died in 2015 — whether he agreed with the retraction, and whether he could say why the paper was withdrawn:

No, I don’t agree with the retraction of the paper. The major purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of dietary counseling and the ability of people to[,] through self-efficacy counseling[,] regulate their own dietary habits. This was demonstrated independent of which dietary regimen people were on. When I started sharing the online version, ahead of print issue, I started receiving criticism from the Low Carbohydrate group. While the initial conversations were negative, with discussion that seemed to dissipate however the complaints had already been sent in.

Per the request of the Journal I submitted an IRB form and the original raw data. The journal elected to retract the paper due to questions of data validity and a conflict of interest. I am not certain what the conflict was and I have seen no documentation that the data is invalid. As a journal reviewer for more than a dozen journals, it is in the end, the journal[‘]s decision and I believe their loss.

Fleming republished the paper in the journal Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research on November 5, after submitting it there October 27. Questions have been raised about the publisher of that journal, which shares an address with at least two other publishers. Asked whether he felt the review was sufficient, Fleming tells Retraction Watch:

The review was not of the originally submitted paper but the multiple revised paper approved for publication by Clinical Cardiology. It is much easier to review that which has already been reviewed and re-written than an original submission. I currently review for or have reviewed for 26 Journals, and was a NIH Grant Reviewer from 2006-2016. I am currently reviewing a paper for one of those journals, which I will have done by tomorrow. Turn around time is not dependent upon the complexity of what is written but by the motivation of those reviewing.

Your REAL question is do I think they did a sloppy job. The answer is NO.

Fleming — who was involved in another keruffle in 2004 involving diet doctor Robert Atkins’ death certificate — also told us that he was never notified of his debarment, but that he came across it on the Internet. He said that he has

filed a reply to the debarment and demanded a retracting and hearing.

He also said that

there was never any Data Fraud and there was never the admission by myself of any wrong doing.

According to an FBI news release from 2009, Fleming was

sentenced today in Lincoln, Nebraska, by the Honorable Richard G. Kopf to five years probation with six months home detention, including electronic monitoring, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $107,244.24 for the felony offenses of health care fraud and mail fraud.

Hat tip: Aseem Malhotra

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39 thoughts on “A convicted felon writes a paper on hotly debated diets. What could go wrong?”

    1. Per his IMDb (really!) profile:

      Dr. Richard M. Fleming was born and raised in Iowa and is a “Kennedy Kid” receiving advanced scientific training through this program he received a formal education in Calculus and Particle Physics. He has received degrees in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology graduating second in his class, attended the University of Iowa College of Medicine graduating with High Honors; 1 of 17 Honors IM. He completed his law degree receiving class award for memorandum of law. While at Iowa he participated in human research, studying sodium and hypertension by measuring nerve conduction differentiating parasympathetic vs sympathetic responses. He completed internship, residency and a Cardiology fellowship in Houston where he published several papers on QCA, diets and heart disease and trained in Nuclear Cardiology including both SPECT & PET. He is one of three “certified” in PET imaging following a one year course of study on anti-matter. He continued his investigation into the cause of heart disease and is the author and copyright holder of “Inflammation and Heart Disease,” has been on The Today Show, MSNBC & 20/20. In 2005 he moved to Reno to help teach and train young physicians. His investigations have unmasked errors in the currently employed methods of detecting heart disease and breast cancer and has copyrights in both fields with patents pending on several methods to “quantitatively” detect these diseases thereby decreasing deaths, costs, time and radiation with associated risk of future cancer risks. He is currently expanding the use of these methods in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. He has been involved with several Administrations as they relate to health care. He has published three independent books, Edited a Medical Textbook, has published several chapters in Medical Textbooks, and has more than 60 peer reviewed papers published in medical journals. He has presented more than 60 times in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Mideast and Asia. The patent (#9566037) was issued to Dr. Fleming on Valentines Day 2017 and includes FHRWW and BEST imaging for the “quantitative” detection of changes leading up to and including heart disease and cancer, including Breast Cancer.

    2. Excerpts of awards (per his IMDb; the asterisks indicate “not verified by IMDb”):

      University of Iowa *
      Senior Honors Internal Medicine – Cardiology
      One of 17 Honors students out of Class of 176. The only Honors Student to conduct research on people. “Sodium and Hypertension”

      Presidential Award/U.S. Congressional Event *
      Physician of the Year
      Seriously, there were two from each state.

      Concord Law School at Purdue University Global *
      3L Legal Analysis AND Writing Award for Best Memorandum of Law
      One award per class.

      University of Iowa Graduation *
      Magna Cum Laude

      Doctoral Particle Physics *
      Particle Physics Doctorate
      JFK Administration Program (Summa Cum Laude)

      USPTO *
      Patent Issued
      The Fleming Method for Tissue and Vascular Differentiation and Metabolism (FMTVDM) using same state single or sequential quantification comparisons. Patent Number 9566037.

      USPTO *
      Patent claims included in patent # 9566037
      Quantified differentiation and identification of changes in tissue by enhancing differences in blood flow and metabolic activity. Pursuant to documentation by Patent Examiner Jennifer A. Lamberski, all claims made under this patent are identical and there (sic)

      USPTO *
      Fleming-Harrington Redistribution Wash-in Washout (FHRWW) including stress-stress detection of inflammatory coronary artery disease. 1-655815511. Started 9-1-2011. Effective 9-16-2011, #TX 7-446-683.

      USPTO *
      Inflammation and Heart Disease; Fleming Unified Theory of Vascular Disease. 1-655833842. Started 9-1-2011. Effective 9-16-2011, TX 7-451-244.

      USPTO *
      Breast Enhanced Scintigraphy Testing (BEST); BEST Imaging. 1-655833872. Started 9-1-2011. Effective 9-16-2011, TX 7-451-243.

      USPTO *
      Stenosis Flow Reserve (SFR), Coronary Flow Reserve (CFR); Quadratic Coronary Flow Reserve (QCFR). 1-655833951. Started 9-1-2011. Effective 9-16-2011, TX 7-451-241.

      USPTO *
      Copyright and Trademark
      “The B.E.S.T. Protocol for Early Breast Cancer Detection” (6 May 2018)

      Obama – Biden Transition Team, Health Care Community Discussion *
      Requested as Moderator by the Incoming Obama – Biden Administration for ACA

      Nominated for Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology *
      Nominated for Nobel Prize in Medicine
      Nominated by Dr. Tapan Chaudhuri

      Nominated for Nobel Prize in Physics *
      Nominated for Nobel Prize in Physics
      Nominated by Dr. Tapan Chaudhuri

      Rifle and Pistol Competition for Police *
      Marksman and Champion

      American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ACC & AHA) Board Meeting *
      Board Member of the National Training and Credentialing Committee
      Developed credentials and examination for Board Certification in Nuclear Cardiology

      1. More from IMDb:

        Dr. Richard M. Fleming was born and raised in Iowa and is a “Kennedy Kid” receiving advanced scientific training through this program he received a formal education in Calculus and Particle Physics. He has received degrees in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology graduating second in his class, attended the University of Iowa College of Medicine graduating with High Honors; 1 of 17 Honors IM. He completed his law degree receiving class award for memorandum of law. While at Iowa he participated in human research, studying sodium and hypertension by measuring nerve conduction differentiating parasympathetic vs sympathetic responses. He completed internship, residency and a Cardiology fellowship in Houston where he published several papers on QCA, diets and heart disease and trained in Nuclear Cardiology including both SPECT & PET. He is one of three “certified” in PET imaging following a one year course of study on anti-matter. He continued his investigation into the cause of heart disease and is the author and copyright holder of “Inflammation and Heart Disease,” has been on The Today Show, MSNBC & 20/20.

      1. I don’t know if his (self-written, unverified) linkedin profile or (unverified, probably written by either himself or a fan with poor grammar) IMDB page are reliable sources.

        1. IMDB also claims he played the role of Max in Once Upon a Time in America. The adult Max was played by James Woods, the child by another actor – Fleming is an unexplained 3rd wheel here. It could be he was a body double for one of the other Maxes – we will just have to wait for his autobiography.

  1. “Kennedy Kid” receiving advanced scientific training through this program he received a formal education in Calculus and Particle Physics”

    Interesting curriculum.

    Doctoral Particle Physics *
    Particle Physics Doctorate
    JFK Administration Program (Summa Cum Laude)”

    Pretty sure 1974 was the Nixon Administration.

    1. The initiation of the project was the result of the JKF Administration.
      As mentioned there were no admissions of wrong doing only the cover up due to my exposing pharamaceutical companies over use of radioactive isotopes in their testing. The experts proved my data for the soy study were completely valid.

      I appreciate those who look at the facts and differentiate what they know from what someone else tells them. As I explained to Dr. Ivan Oransky, whom I think will have to admit, I provided him lots of information in an effort to detail information for what he was writing.

      My simplistic example which appears to resonate is the following: You’re in a room and a person comes in and tells you there’s been a terrible accident outside. A woman in a car just hit a truck with a man in it and there are two girls lying dead in the street. What do you know? The answer is you know that someone just came in and told you that; nothing more. You don’t know if someone driving a car just hit a truck. You don’t know if a woman was driving the car or if there was a man in a truck. It could have been a woman on a bicycle running into a bus. The girls could be two manikins. There may have been no accident. It may have been dark and the person thought they saw something and in reality what they thought they saw was wrong on many or all of the details. The person could have just woken up from a dream or they might be hallucinating or it might have even been you having a vivid dream that you are now waking up from believing someone just came into the room and told you a series of events. All you know is that you believe someone just came into the room and told you the scenario above.

      So, with the little evidence I’ve been sharing, to make certain all the evidence we have isn’t played with by those who are now being investigated and who have already demonstrated they will do whatever they need to do; other people are beginning to understand, remove comments and even offer apologies.

      The paper was well done, it just wasn’t what many people wanted to hear and it certainly wasn’t what people wanted to hear who sell their books and make a name for themselves selling one side of the diet argument.

      In reality, much of what is needed to determine which diet(s) are causing harm to individuals will only be obtained through the actual measurement of heart disease and breast cancer.

      As I tell students who want to make a difference in the world, I welcome you but you need to realize that no one is going to pat you on the back. The didn’t Semmelweiss, Hubble, Einstein, Watson and Crick, or anyone else who made a paradigm shift.

      Everyone is chancing blood tests, which were part of my “Inflammation and Heart Disease Theory” and then stood back and said everyone else was chasing the wrong part of the test. The truth is, the “Inflammation and Heart Disease Theory” discussed the components of what interact to varying degrees in different individuals, based upon variable that cannot be predicted from the different cellular and tissue levels genetics and environmental factors. To answer the question, you literally need to answer the question and the question is WHAT are you looking for? It turns out you’re looking for Heart Disease and Breast Cancer. If you’re not measuring that, you’re not answering the question and the bottom line is I’m the only one who has developed the test which can do that and I am providing it free to those who participate in this study because we need to do the study to make sure we are doing the right thing when it comes to what people eat and how they are living.

      My mother used to say if people were attacking her, they were leaving other people alone; so go ahead, attack away and while you’re doing it, I’ll still be trying to help find the answers — for you.

      1. Well said, Dr. Fleming, the long line of skeptics who make dark, rude, accusatory and inane comments without any insight, personal accomplishments, nor understanding, while annoying, provide a service to those actually seeking understanding.

        It seems to be eternal part of the script necessary to bring about change, because it give way to answer the contradictions and snide remarks with rational clarity and light.

  2. Dr. Fleming: Thank you for taking the time to reply to this blog post.

    Personally, I was so amazed at your broad and impressive background that I had some skepticism. I started trying to confirm some of the milestones listed at the IMDb and LinkedIn sites I posted above. In doing so, I found some things that looked slightly inconsistent, and would appreciate it if could take the time to clarify some of these:

    Did you receive 4 *separate* “degrees in Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology,” as the wording on your IMDb profile suggests, or were these a single B.A, “B.A. and Graduate Studies, Physics, Biology, General Science, Chemistry Minor” as listed in your LinkedIn profile? And was this degree, or degrees, received from University of Northern Iowa which you attended from 1976-1981?

    Also, while I see that you list a “Doctoral Particle Physics” (sic) and
    JFK Administration Program (Summa Cum Laude), both on the IMDb site and in the “9th Euro Breast Cancer Summit” biography held last month, it isn’t clear through what institution you received this doctorate, which you indicate you received in 1974. It also isn’t clear how you received a Doctorate in Particle Physics in 1974 when you would have been 18 (the 1974 date is from the IMDb site; I show you were born in 1956) and received your undergraduate degree(s) in 1981.

    Lastly, your listing of “2003 Presidential Award/U.S. Congressional Event / Physician of the Year / Seriously, there were two from each state,” appears to be a fund raising tactic for the Republican National Congressional Committee,” not an award based on merit. See the ABC News article here for more: https://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=643826&page=1

    1. The areas for the Bacchelor’s Degrees included Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology.
      The Doctorate Program required intensified studies as noted. Until this year, I had no idea how many people or places around the country were involved. I have found others that were enrolled in these accelerated programs, so I know we were not alone. This not unlike today were challenging times and the focus was to develop scientists at an accelerated rate.
      The NE Court case stemmed from my showing the pharmaceutical company misrepresented how much radiation had to be given to someone to do a study. They sold two doses instead of one for each patient. I’ve posted (and explained elsewhere) how this made 3-4 times the profit for them at the expense of the people being studied.
      This is what I get for asking the question of what’s real and what’s not. If you go onto the much discussed debarment site, you will find that I’m posting material showing there was no crime committed or admitted to, the Judge and attorneys hid this evidence from the Jury and the experts, the pharmaceutical company no longer denies “Sestamibi redistribution” which is the key behind what’s going on, and the Judge has blocked all investigative efforts I have made. There is an 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case I filed on them and that has been sitting without the required vote, more than a year after the vote was required. FYI. as mentioned to Dr. Oransky, the ISU professor showed there was no data fraud. FYI. The Doctor who is credited with submitted this for this column has been promoting his diet books and diet which the British Dietetic Associations has stated is one of “top 5 worst celeb diets to avoid in 2018.”
      Think what you want, the data is valid. They just didn’t like the results and they put enough pressure from somewhere to get it pulled.
      Yes, I believe the Republicans had something to do with the Presidential award. Independent of their motives, I simply noted the award. I also am happy to tell people they asked me what was wrong with the Health Care system and after 5-minutes on tape, I always tell people they have not invited me back. 🙂
      IMDb is an interesting site and it seems challenging to get everything correct on the new system as it was on the older system.

      To that extent, I do not plan to be returning to the site. This is not about defending but about trying to make a difference in an indifferent world. Soon the “Diet Wars Challenge” will be published in a medical journal and hopefully in the media. A challenge where all the Diet Pundits can run their arms of the study, instructing people how they want to and we will MEASURE the real impact on Heart Disease and Breast Cancer.
      Something you are owed and I intend to make happen.
      It has been my experience, or maybe it’s just my belief, that those who have truly done something wrong aren’t willing to talk about it, while those who have been wronged, do something about it.
      I’m doing something about it.

      1. Dr. Fleming: Again, I appreciate your reply, although your long-winded answer is non-responsive to all of my substantive questions. You have no obligation to answer my questions, but choosing to equivocate rather than clarify will undoubtedly leave readers with a poor impression of your veracity.

        My own opinion is as follows, and I would welcome any evidence that you can provide to prove me wrong:

        1. Rather than 4 undergraduate degrees in varied scientific fields, you probably only have one undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Northern Iowa, received in 1981.

        2. The 1974 “Doctoral Particle Physics” (sic) is an exaggerated description of a high school program in which you participated as a gifted student.

        3. Since you did not respond with the name of an institution and a different PhD award date (both of which would be readily at hand for most PhDs), I personally believe that you do not have a PhD in Physics as you apparently are claiming. As you do not seem to list any another PhD program elsewhere in the biographical information I referenced, I suspect that you do not have a PhD of any type.

        4. Your profile on LinkedIn (and elsewhere) says you have 60 published papers; the breast cancer conference bio says you have 150 “papers in the field.” Others who follow Retraction Watch are probably able to confirm the correct number, and may also be able to determine which journals are of higher vs. lower quality.

        5. As another commented noted, your license to practice medicine in at least one state was revoked at one time and from what I can find, the Nevada board of medical examiners site shows “LICENSE NEVER ISSUED,” and Iowa’s site shows that your medical license was suspended. This makes me wonder whether you are currently licensed to practice medicine in any state. Perhaps the fraud conviction triggered the suspension of these licenses, but I don’t see any evidence that you have regained a license. I’m uncertain about the appropriateness of continuing represent yourself as a physician (as on the 20/20 show, which I think was in April of 2018).

        Anyway, at a minimum all these questions make me concerned about your credibility, but I would be happy to revise my opinion given evidence to the contrary.

        1. By my count Richard Fleming has published 40 papers. 16 of these in the journal ANGIOLOGY, and often as single author paper.

          Nine of these papers list his correspondence address as an institute named after himself e.g.
          Correspondence: Professor Richard M. Fleming, The Fleming Heart and Health Institute and The Camelot Foundation,
          9290 West Dodge Road, Suite 204, Omaha, NE 68114

          Google maps and his address above indicates that this “Institute” is an office in a small shared office building.

          1. The “Institute” is not currently registered with the Secretary of State’s office in Nebraska (shows inactive since 2004). Per Guidestar, The Camelot Foundation hasn’t filed an IRS 990 form since 2002. That return shows total contributions of $7,000 of which $4,255 was spent on research. They had $2,745 in assets (cash) at the end of 2002. I was unsuccessful at finding another state with which Fleming has an affiliation where these entities are active… but your mileage may vary.

    1. Yes, there are other questions raised by the information that I can find, but I don’t have the resources or skills to ferret out the whole story. In the absence of any intent to mislead, Dr. Fleming appears nonchalant about the clarity of the background and credentials that he (or someone on his behalf) is putting online. Hopefully, he can address these discrepancies in another reply.

  3. “He is one of three “certified” in PET imaging following a one year course of study on anti-matter.”

    One of three WHAT? Are there only three people certified in PET imaging, or only three certified after a one-year course of study?

    And what does studying anti-matter have to do with PET imaging? I didn’t know that any anti-matter was created during a PET scan.

    I also see that he chose not to directly answer how he got a PhD at the age of 18 (which is not impossible, just unusual) … he said some vague words…. and then said he wouldn’t come back to this site.

    1. I wrote more on this, but the spam filter seems to have blocked it. Would be interesting to see someone (capable) dig into this further.

  4. I didn’t know that any anti-matter was created during a PET scan.

    The radiotracers emit positrons (hence PET). I suppose an anti-electron is a kind of antimatter. Though a “one-year course on antimatter” is hardly a relevant qualification.

  5. It’s remarkable how long it took ORA to debar him. To quote from the debarment order (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/09/28/2018-21210/richard-m-fleming-denial-of-hearing-final-debarment-order):
    “By letter dated November 18, 2013, FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) notified Fleming of its proposal to debar him…”

    Fleming requested a hearing. “OSI has considered Fleming’s arguments and concludes that they are unpersuasive and fail to raise a genuine and substantial issue of fact requiring a hearing.”

    The final debarment was issued almost 5 years after the notice was sent.

    If that’s how slow ORA works, we have a problem.

  6. He doesn’t seem to leave a good impression in legal matters. Reading the disbarment, they definitely don’t trust him, thus the 10-year term. And then there’s his case against the Iowa medical board (which wants to fine him and make him take an ethics course prior to resuming medical practice). A judge stated https://eservices.iowa.gov/PublicPortal/Iowa/IBM/common/display_attachment.jsp?AttachmentRSN=34202
    “This case is a prime example of the senselessness that can inevitably accompany litigants who choose to represent themselves in complex legal matters. In its previous Ruling, the Court explained in no uncertain terms that Petitioner failed to make arguments pertaining to the agency action currently at issue. Yet, instead of following the Court’s directions, the Petitioner has decided to focus on disputing the criminal charges and arguing the Board conducted an unreasonable, “subpar” investigation of the charges against him. Petitioner does not seem to understand how the Board could have found him guilty of a crime, since “petitioner committed no crimes and as such, respondent acted punitively, arbitrarily and capriciously toward Dr. Fleming.” Petioner’s Memo. of Law 11. The Petitioner’s argument is perplexing given the fact that Petitioner pled guilty to the crimes that prompted the Board action in the first place. ”

    You’d think his JD degree would be of some use.

  7. Excellent example of how to vet someone!

    It is especially helpful when the subject participates and cooperates.

    His responses, and subsequent disappearance are all quite helpful in assessing credibility and accuracy of facts.

  8. Regardless of the author, the retracted paper had some serious issues. As I wrote in a comment on George Henderson’s blog:

    The abstract [which does not seem available anymore] also has this gem:
    “One‐year body mass changes did not differ by diet (P>.999).”

    How can you possibly get P >.999?
    Are we supposed to believe that all three groups had precisely the same weight loss after one year?

  9. While I understand many people seem to believe they know what I think, what I eat, when I use the bathroom, et cetera, I assure you, you don’t and I think it is time to address several misconceptions and wrongs done by others.

    I am also not posting this to begin a dialogue. I am not trying to convince you of anything. You are not being invited to my home for Thanksgiving meal and there is not a present for you under my Christmas tree. I am making the following TWO statements; period.

    FIRST Statement:

    I think it’s time to set the record straight. The Federal case was the direct consequence of my raising questions regarding the cause of death of Robert Atkins and exposing misrepresentations made by Big Pharma.

    I never said I committed any crimes. In the first instance I said tests were done and billed in a specific way. I don’t do medical billing myself. I’m a physician and I paid someone very well to do the billing. It just so happens that the way in which those tests were billed, are exactly the way the Medicare Manual specifically states they must be billed.

    In the second instance I said there weren’t 60-patients in a specific envelope mailed out. I never said there weren’t 60-patients in the study and I never said I made up any data.

    I have published more than 80 papers in medical journals, presented more than 70 times at National and International Medical Conferences, have been asked to present at many hospitals for Grand Rounds and other occasions, have published 8-chapters in Medical Textbooks, been Editor-in-Chief of another Cardiology Textbook, have published 4-books for the general public, been trained as a NIH reviewer, have served on multiple Medical panels, been recognized by numerous medical groups, and still review for more than a dozen peer reviewed medical journals.

    Not once has my published research been questioned except for studies involving diets. To be clear, these studies have never been questions by the American Heart Association, the vegan community or the vegetarian communities; even though the outcomes of those studies have not always been favorable to them. The only group, which has ever questioned my research, has been the low carb diet pundits and they have attacked the work like elementary school student on a playground during recess who weren’t happy with who was winning dodge ball. There attacks upon people publishing work, which was not favorable to them has resulted in their attacking not only myself but the American Heart Association, the vegan and vegetarian communities and even individuals like Jillian Michaels. They have polarized the medical community and have established a division of the medical journals as demonstrated by the schism between Lancet and the BMJ.

    For that reason it is clear that a resolution to this diet debate can only be accomplished by quantitatively measuring changes in heart disease and breast cancer now made possible with FMTVDM; B.E.S.T. Imaging and not merely by looking for changes in weight or blood tests; changes which do not correlate with changes in heart disease or breast cancer.

    Second Statement:

    What are DIETS like the KETO DIET really doing to our health?

    The real question is what are these diets really doing to people? How do you know the affect of a treatment be it a medication, radiation, surgery or a diet? We treat people based upon what we think we have seen and what we’ve been told works, but how effective are our treatments and what tests are we using to make those decisions? When I entered Medical School our Dean told us “90% of what we would be taught was wrong” and for those of us who were interested in doing the work to uncover the truth, to please help improve Medicine and Medical care by finding the answers to the questions we didn’t even know were questions until we discovered the answers.

    In 1991 I published my second paper in Cardiology as a Cardiology Fellow showing the errors made in reading coronary arteriograms and the consequential problems posed to patients as a result. In 1995 I developed the “Inflammation and Heart Disease” and “Angina” Theories. It took several years to overcome decades of obstacles and resistance of the then current models of heart disease, which suggested it was merely cholesterol and narrowing of arteries causing the problem. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Beginning in 1999 following my work showing the errors made in reading coronary arteriograms and the errors made in reading nuclear imaging studies (both SPECT/Planar and PET) I began unmasking the errors in Nuclear Imaging. I not only discovered that the pharmaceutical companies selling their drugs had misrepresented how their drugs worked; a misrepresentation that allowed them to increase their profits by 2-3 folds; but that the nuclear SPECT/Planar and PET cameras being used to diagnose and guide patient treatment were not “quantitatively” calibrated. In other words, they were not accurately counting what they said they were counting. 🙁

    By 2004, following my introduction of the “Inflammation and Heart Disease” Theory on 20/20, which resulted in almost everyone getting on board the “Inflammation Bandwagon” the shift was not towards further development of “quantitative” methods for finding heart disease and cancer but a more simplistic approach of measuring surrogate blood markers like cholesterol, CRP, homocysteine and a host of other tests which are easy to measure, but did they actually represent a method of measuring changes in heart disease or cancer?

    In 2008 I published another paper looking at changes in these surrogate blood tests against a quantifiable measure of heart disease. It turns out, which didn’t surprise me, that there is NO relationship between changes in cholesterol, CRP or other blood tests and the actual extent of coronary artery disease or it’s change with treatment. The paper was published in “Angiology.”

    While the diet pundits have continued to conduct and publish studies telling you their diets work by showing you weight loss or changes in cholesterol levels and a variety of other tests, which have nothing to do with actual measurements of heart disease, cancer, or anything else for that matter, I continued focusing on developing the first and only truly AI quantitative test. The test, which not only uncovered the pharmaceutical company misrepresentations, accurately measures not just if you have disease, but where you lie on the actual “Health-Spectrum.”

    When Judah Folkman attempted to take credit for my work on Breast Cancer Imaging, telling people he had discovered a test, which could accurately find and measure breast cancer, I decided it was time to diligently and quietly pursue this work, which I did.

    After 18-years of work and efforts to patent this quantitative AI method, we have proven that (1) the pharmaceutical companies were less than completely honest in what they told the FDA (something most people now accept), (2) the patented test not only accurately, consistently and reproducible measures where you are on the “Health-Spectrum”, rather than a “qualitative” yes you have disease, no you don’t have disease approach associated with sensitivity and specificity problems, and (3) because the patented test actually “measures” where you are at, it can not only tell you how much of a problem you have or don’t have, but it can actually tell you if the treatment you are receiving is working or not, and if not it provides you and your physician with the measured information to provide patient-specific guided treatment; saving time, money and lives.

    So how do you know if your treatment, be it diet, drug, hormonal, surgical, or whatever is working? The answer is simple. You have to be able to “measure” it and that means a quantitative test, which is accurately, consistently and reproducibly able to measure what it is you are trying to treat.

    Measuring surrogate blood markers/tests, which aren’t associated with changes in heart disease, cancer or other health problems, won’t provide you an answer and using “qualitative” tests flawed with sensitivity and specificity issues won’t provide you an answer. The only way to answer whether your treatment is working is to be able to MEASURE the extent of a problem you really have; placing you on your “Health-Spectrum.” If you don’t know where you begin and where you’re at, you really can’t determine whether what you’ve done for treatment has made you better, worse or has had no affect.

    The name of the patent is FMTVDM and the specific breast cancer component is named B.E.S.T. Imaging. We’ve published around 20 papers in peer reviewed medical journals in the last year and presented at multiple conferences. FMTVDM;B.E.S.T. Imaging is the first and only truly AI Quantitative Method for measuring heart disease and cancer; including breast cancer.

    Having made BOTH of these statements:

    The current level of “discussion” on these diets by many people reminds me of elementary school children fighting on the playground during recess.

    Despite the constant arguments about, you cannot honestly call any of this a debate or intelligent discussion, between the low carbohydrate DIETS and the other types of diets proposed by the DIET PUNDITS, there is little if any new or useful information. Study after study show if you change the way a person eats, they can lose weight; BIG DEAL!

    These same studies use changes in blood tests to support the benefit they have for reducing heart disease. These studies exclude people whose cholesterol and other blood tests for inflammation go up, thereby making the results look better, while criticizing other studies for not agreeing with them.

    The MAJOR PROBLEM with this approach is that I never said that reducing your cholesterol level or your insulin resistance or your CRP level would reduce your heart disease. My “Inflammation and Heart Disease” and “Angina” Theories explain why people develop heart disease and why this heart disease causes chest pain. In 2008 while developing a method to actually MEASURE heart disease my research showed that changes in these blood tests of inflammation didn’t match actual changes in heart disease; which means that measuring cholesterol and other blood tests won’t tell you if your heart disease is changing.

    To know what’s happening to your heart, you actually have to measure it. The only quantitative method for accurately, consistently and reproducibly being able to do this is FMTVDM. If the DIET PUNDITS want to know what happens to your heart or breast health (using B.E.S.T. Imaging) when you go on their diets, they will need to measure it with FMTVDM; B.E.S.T. Imaging.

    Until then everyone can quit attacking each other. Recess is over and it’s time to come back inside for class and learn something.


    Dr. Fleming

  10. Dr. Fleming: I missed your return to this forum, but wanted to record my last response from our other discussion (link below). I have also checked your Twitter feed and saw your clumsy attempts to get someone to publicize your “patented” process for you; it has been both entertaining and pathetic. You really think tweeting at Donald Trump, the New York Times and Oprah will help you sell your process? Good grief. You might note that barely any of your hundreds of tweets have been retweeted or liked even once. In addition, you appear to continue to mischaracterize your background, credentials and business affiliations, which will inevitably lead to embarrassment for anyone foolish enough to fall for it. Seriously dude, you should stop before you get into legal trouble.



    Anyway here was my last reply:

    Dr. Fleming-I saw your question on Twitter this morning and suggestion that I am a “KETO stalker.” As I said before, I have no axe to grind in your diet debates and I have no background (or really any interest) in your field(s).

    My interest was piqued when I read the Retraction Watch story about your retracted paper and saw your odd defense of your felony conviction in the comments there. I hold no personal animus toward you, but I am questioning the veracity in your many public statements and representations, and am perplexed that you do not seem interested in clearing up the many inconsistencies of your professional background.

    In my opinion, the loose way you seem to play with your credentials and background details are consistent with the behavior of a person committing fraud. To be clear, I am not accusing you of fraud, but your responses to questions on these forums have done little to clear up what could otherwise be considered honest mistakes.

    My long practice of using a “handle” isn’t intended to hide my identity but to avoid unnecessarily mixing my personal and professional internet profiles. If you’d like me to contact you directly to “unmask” myself to you I can do so, although I don’t know why it matters to you. Just let me know which email address you’d like me to use for this purpose.

    I would caution you not to threaten me, either physically, professionally or legally. I am fully prepared to defend myself and as a non-public figure I may have legal options available to me, that a public figure, such as yourself, may not.

  11. There are currently 8 discussion threads at Pubpeer: https://pubpeer.com/search?q=%22richard+m.+fleming%22
    Five of them involve publications at Journal of Nuclear Medicine & Radiation Therapy, an OMICS outlet edited (inter alia) by Richard Fleming.

    The titles read more like press releases or advertisements on late-night TV than normal academic papers.
    “The Answer for Breast Cancer”
    “Artificial Intelligence (AI) with True Quantification”
    “The Era of Truly Quantitative Stress- First, Stress-Only Imaging has begun!”
    “FMTVDM©℗ Stress-First/Stress-Only Imaging is here!”
    “Today’s “New Standard Of Care” For Cardiac Imaging”

  12. It appears that the FTC has prevailed vs OMICS Group, publisher of a large number of “journals” often used by Dr. Fleming. Link below (dtd 3/29/19). Not an attorney, but reads like a “win” for the FTC. Assume OMICS will appeal since the judgement appears to award $50,130,810 in damages, among other substantive changes in their methods, but will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    Case 2:16-cv-02022-GMN-VCF Document 121 Filed 03/29/19

  13. Finally came across Dr. Fleming’s real CV. He presented the 46 page monstrosity on 9/11/09 as part of his legal flailing after his felony conviction.

    In it, he answers many of the questions he would not directly address in our discussions above and elsewhere, namely:

    He has undergraduate degrees from Northern Iowa in General Science, Biology, Psychology. and a minor in Chemistry. Graduated in 1980. He did one year graduate studies in Psychology under his mentor Dr. Gordon Harrington. He graduated from medical school in 1986 and did his residency from 1987-89, then his cardiology fellowship 1989-92. Most of this is roughly consistent with the story he’s spun.

    However, there is no mention of a PhD in Physics; there is a high school physics competition in 1973-4, which was what I was guessing based on the dates from his exaggerated online CV. So he has been misrepresenting himself as a PhD in most of his recent research papers, cringey YouTube videos, and terrible eBooks.

    The real CV also clarifies that the Fleming Heart Health Institute (1999-2004) and the Camelot Foundation (2000-2005) are no longer operating. He has been misrepresenting his institutional affiliation in his research papers and on the US clinical trial website. That study is discussed here: http://retractionwatch.com/2020/05/29/a-convicted-felon-wants-people-to-enroll-in-a-covid-19-clinical-trial-what-could-go-wrong/

    No major surprises for me, but I’m happy to have him set the record straight in his court filings if not anywhere else.

    For the curious, I have posted a modestly redacted version of the CV on Google Drive https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bDa4x9MKWRDQ5XRcce52qCZVjOVHDBWK/view?usp=sharing (if it works)

  14. Interesting reading. Glad I came across it. Especially after I watched his interview here.
    You may want to watch it. I was myself quite surprised by all his titles. I.am not sure if you discussed it, bit it appears he is claiming he also had a law degree. Wonder if anyone looked into that,

    1. Yes. I contacted the law school and confirmed that he does have a JD. It is from an online school, Concord, I believe, which was later acquired by Purdue. I don’t think it is accredited by the ABA, but I think it has become state-accredited in California (in 2020), after he attended. Some videos show that he is a “lawyer,” but to the best of my knowledge, he has not passed a bar exam. I don’t think he’d be able to be accepted by a state bar because of his felony record, but that may be incorrect.

  15. May I thank the truthseekers on this Comment thread for their extended efforts in untangling the messy cobweb of career claims by the inimitable Richard M. Fleming, who despite his many claimed assignments to peer review the literature seems unable to edit his own CV to make sense.
    This despite his apparently valid accomplishment in suggesting a new way to measure heart and arterial health that might allow us to compare the effect of different diets. The trouble is that his claimed biography is so full of phrases that suggest it is some kind of absurd and professionally illiterate fiction that any serious researcher is liable to be convinced that his achievement in pioneering medical research is just as hollow, as well as his current critique of the Covid 19 SARS Covid 2 coronavirus and its vaccines, which Fleming on the Gary Null show on New York’s WBAI 99.5 FM and PRN.FM today July 7 2021 at noon made sound very authoritative and scientifically valid with his sturdy and confidently fluent voice. But a man who cannot edit childish misphrasing and absurd nonsense from his own bio is entirely without credibility in more serious matters, sorry to say, since he appeared to make very good points.

  16. PS: The Richard Fleming 46 page CV posted immediately above at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bDa4x9MKWRDQ5XRcce52qCZVjOVHDBWK/view linked to by the poster Regret may explain Fleming’s difficulty in answering flaws detected in his bio, for the simple reason that the 46 pages lists such a slew of attendances, memberships and published contributions of various kinds that even he may find it impossible to review and recall, when challenged as to its accuracy, since it is too lengthy even to read in under an hour, let alone check for inaccuracies and corrections. Perhaps his limited response to the queries of the retractionwatch commentators in this Comment thread can be forgiven in this light.

  17. Wow! So much to unpack, I’m at a loss for words. Plus, so many truths and half truths to consider!

    SO, what is all this: Dazzle them with Brilliance, or Baffle them with Bullshit; or a bit of both?

    I sure do know.

    Though he does talk a good game, but then so do a lot of folks on this post.


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